I've had three rehearsals for Carmen, and it's been interesting.
This is an hour-long version, perhaps an hour and a half. Highlights from Carmen." It includes the bare bones of the plot, but all the famous arias. Escomillo sings part of "Toreador" into my right ear.
I'm having to resist the urge to make my character, non-singing Lilas Pastia, thief, pimp, landlord, and all around bastard child of Thenardier and Fagan, into the only comedy this opera has. I've been officially given the only 'bit of business' in the opera, and it would be rather easy to convert a few entrances into subtle, dark humor. I am resisting.
A couple of notes:
One: The director brought her dog, who got upset when the stage fighting began. He didn't attack or growl at anyone, but he got in the middle of it, and barked. I was reminded of the kid in the middle of a Thanksgiving family argument begging for everyone to get along.
Two: There's a moment in which my character roughs up Carmen. We've rehearsed it a couple of times, and I'm having difficulty getting physical with the actress who plays Carmen. I'll watch it without a qualm, but I appear to have very deep reservations about violence against women.