"Carmen Hanoi' returns to capital city

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The opera "Carmen Hanoi" will return to Hanoi late next month after making its successful debut last May.

Carmen Hanoi is a Vietnamese interpretation of the world renowned opera, but it's very different from the classic version by Georges Bizet, event organizers said.

Based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée, the original opera was completed in the autumn of 1874 by Georges Bizet. It was his last work. The opera tells the tragic story behind the bright, optimistic, straightforward but wild personality of a gypsy girl called Carmen.

Helena Röhr, director of Carmen Hanoi, and set-designer Annsofi Nyberg of Sweden, said this version of Carmen, which is set inside a Vietnamese cigarette factory, focuses on the theme of domestic violence in Vietnamese society today particularly towards women.

The opera portrays Carmen as a victim rather than someone who is to blame for what happens as is so often seen in more traditional versions. The violence between José and Carmen, which eventually leads to her death, indicates the cruel reality which many women in society face today, says the director.

Carmen Hanoi will include more than 150 artists, musicians and singers of the Orchestra of Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) and the Hanoi International Choir, conducted by music director Graham Sutcliffe.

The opera will be performed in French and Vietnamese and subtitled in English and Vietnamese. It will open at 8 p.m. at the Hanoi Opera House on September 29 and 30.

Tickets, ranging from VND200,000 to 700,000, are available at the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street. They can also be booked online at: www.ticketvn.com; ticketvn@gmail.com.

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