Cyprus Mail

A night in Italy

By Maria Gregoriou

For those who would love to visit Italy for at least an evening and sit under the stars in an amphitheatre watching an opera but just don’t have the funds or time to make a quick trip, K-cineplex in Nicosia is offering the next best thing on Wednesday.

The cinema will be screening a live performance of Carmen from the Ancient Greek theatre of Taormina in Italy.

This ancient theatre was built in Southern Italy in the early seventh century BC. Sitting on the coast of Sicily, it is home to the annual Festival Euro Mediterraneo and it is the second largest ancient Greek theatre in Italy. Most recently it has been used for operatic and theatrical performances.

On Wednesday you can enjoy the beautiful theatre, a coastal view and an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet and libretto by Henri Meihac and Ludovic Halevy.

Carmen is based on the novella of the same name by Prosper Merimee and was first performed in Paris in 1875.

This production is staged by Enrico Castiglione who is considered to be one of the best-known and respected musical theatre directors and set designer of his generation.

The plot is set in Seville, Spain around 1820 and tells the tale of provocative gypsy Carmen, who works in a cigarette factory and who loves attention, something she gets a lot of from everyone during her breaks from the factory, everyone that is except young soldier Don Jose. Wanting everyone to admire her, Carmen throws a flower at the soldier. When the workers return to their work Carmen is involved in a fight. Jose is ordered to split up the fight by Lieutenant Zuniga and arrest Carmen. While the two are alone in prison Carmen mesmerises the soldier and escapes.

The gypsy then goes back to the tavern where she meets her smuggling partners and is flirted with by a bullfighter. Jose shows up and Carmen continues to squeeze attention out of him by making him jealous by telling him all about how she dances for Zuniga. He shows her the flower as a symbol of his love for her but she isn’t impressed, she wants him to leave the army and live a life of freedom with her.

After Jose is involved in a fight with his lieutenant, who bursts into the tavern to catch the smugglers in the act, he is forced to leave the army and join in the smuggling business. Skipping to the end, Carmen breaks things off with Jose, who cannot accept the thought of someone else having the gypsy and stabs her to death.

The performance will begin at 9.30pm and it will run for one and a half hours, with an intermission.

Screening of the opera live from the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina. July 15. K-cineplex, Nicosia. 9.30pm. €18/13. Tel: 24-819025

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