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Georges Bizet's 1875 opera is performed live and filmed in glorious 3D for an it's-as-if-you-were-in-the-room experience.
Now here's a genuinely laudable use of 3D technology. While seeing opera performed live has an undoubted appeal for many, it's also off-puttingly dear, and for the best possible seats, often prohibitively expensive. And even from the best seats you'll only ever see the action from one angle... enter director Julian Napier and his RealD cameras.
Carmen 3D is the latest ReadD production to record a live performance - in this case Francesca Zambello's production of Carmen, with Christine Rice in the lead role - and translate that into a film aimed at making us feel we're right there in the London Royal Opera House watching (and hearing) the action unfold. It's a highly contemporary approach to an art form dating back to around 1600.
Yes, it's stagier than you'd want a regular musical film to be, but that's not the point - think of this as going to the theatre, rather than the cinema. You just happen to be watching from a dazzling array of multiple perspectives that would ordinarily be impossible. The 3D glasses even feel curiously appropriate, given opera's lorgnettes tradition.
Naturally, some of the thrill of seeing a live performance is muted, but the compensations make this a very credible way to bring a minority experience to a potentially broader audience. We imagine there will be some carping from traditionalists, but then, Carmen itself was trashed on its opening run by critics who panned Bizet's tale of a gypsy and her lovers as "vulgar" and "contemptible".
Hits all the high notes in high definition, making for a relatively inexpensive and accessible way to enjoy a bit of high culture, innit.
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