Essays & Scholarship

Essays & Scholarship

The Original Staging of Carmen: The 1875 Mise en Scène

This article acts as a preface to the English translation by Richard Langham Smith of the original Carmen staging book which can be found in full here.   This mise en scène (staging manual) for the premiere of Carmen at the Paris Opéra-Comique (3 March 1875) is the principal source […]

Elza Szamosi and Carmen: a starring role

In his 1920 sonnet entitled Carmen, the Hungarian poet Gyula Juhász wrote about pleasure and grief (alliteration in Hungarian: ‘gyönyör’ and ‘gyász’), about the hot and painful (‘forrón’ and ‘fájón’, again alliteration), and the cruelly creative and destructive instinct of a ‘wench’; moreover, in the first line of the poem, […]

Le beau idéal in Hungary: The reception of the modern French singing style in Budapest

At the end of the nineteenth century, Budapest – as the second largest but the fastest growing city of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy – had a vibrant cultural life. The political background of this prosperity was framed by the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and the creation of Budapest, the capital city […]

Feminist endings: challenges of operatic staging in the twenty-first century

Drawn from ‘Final féministe: les défis de la mise en scène au XXIème siècle. #JeSuisCarmen’, in Claire Lozier and Isabelle Marc (eds.), Carmen revisitée (Peter Lang, 2020), pp. 150-174. Book available here. Clair Rowden, Cardiff University Lola San Martín Arbide, New Europe College, Bucharest Perennially described as a femme fatale, […]

Mapping time and space in a transnational history of Carmen was born from a longstanding collaboration between myself and Richard Langham Smith. Work on the Peters Edition score of Carmen (vocal score, 2013) led to a ‘Performance Urtext’ which brings to the printed page not only the musical text, but also many of the details of how Carmen was first performed (for more […]