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In the bowels of ' Carmen '

Thus he stands in the Royal Theatre the most controversial and most represented assembly of Bizet's opera

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In the bowels of ' Carmen '

A mast, a cabin, ten Mercedes ramshackle and Osborne bull. That is all scenery that has needed Calixto Bieito to stand most controversial and represented production-has gone through 32 atres from all over world to be recalad in Real Madrid-de Carmen, Bizet's opera. No bullrings, no taverns, no hidden Andalusian streets. Bieito has dispensed of Spanish romantic stereotypes in a montage with Legionnaires and chonis that leaves dramatic weight in singers. "The interpretations are so strong that no big bragging is needed on stage," notes Guillermo Carbonell, one of three aldermen who coordinates each function-until November 17-in Real.

Carbonell and his colleagues have last word to decide when show starts. With everyone in ir posts, y tell Master Marc Poillet that, with a hand blow (no baton), orchestra begins energetic prelude that triggers this tragedy in four acts. Since n Poillet is in charge while aldermen, from control table, are marking changes in scene as y read a score full of annotations and warn cast-in Italian, French, English or Castilian-when to return. "It is essential that we know about music and speak several languages to manage with ease", emphasizes this degree in archaeology and art history, which began in manager at Liceu, after several years as an actor. Aldermen also make decisions when an unforeseen one arises. "They are highest authority during performance," says Carbonell, who has been practicing this trade in Real since he reopened ater 20 years ago.

These nights of function are being quiet. It doesn't happen same in all productions. "In this Carmen re are no big changes in complex sets or changing rooms," he says. "Only 60 showgirls, 22 actors and 11 singers that we must coordinate in several moments of work," he says. That serenity is perceived throughout team from long before start of each function. Around seven in afternoon halls of Real are filled with legionnaires who pass by makeup to place false tattoos and cigarette to half dress. When finished, y go to rehearsal room, several plants above stage, to polish with Andrés Máspero, director of chorus, some errors captured in function of previous day. Máspero goes straight to point. "Ladies and gentlemen, listen well, because on stage, with all movement, it's like being in Rio Carnival," he jokes with those present.

The children's choir warms, a dozen minors dressed in tracksuits and flower dresses, with plastic bracelets and gold chains, warm up in an adjoining room. Sometimes y are clueless, and Ana Gonzalez, her responsible, gives m some tips for function about to begin.

The musicians begin to fill moat and public seats. At that time Joan Matabosch, artistic director of ater makes round of dressing rooms of protagonists to wish m a good function and to make sure that everyone is prepared. They, singers of prestige of various nationalities, are shown sympatic and close when Matabosch penetrates in ir intimacy. Everything seems right and on shoulders of stage props is ready: Ten old Mercedes, a bag with frilly dresses ... Nebulizers, which spray air, operate at full performance. They perceive moisture and good vibes. "Yves Lenoir, director who came from Paris to ride it, since Bieito could not, created a wonderful work environment, full of affection and trust, something that does not usually happen, many directors often create tensions," Carbonell recognizes, while confirming by microphone That master can pass. And Piollet accesses moat between applause. The artistic and technical choreography that can be unleashed every night and with each opera, has been danced in this Centennial Coliseum for 20 years.

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