I went to see Carmen last night. It was nearly three years ago when I saw this performance of Carmen and I thought it was pretty good then. This time round, Elina Garanca was the alluring Carmen and a robust Robert Alagna sang Don José. It was a good match as both have strong voices and looked believable on stage. Bertrand de Billy who conducted in the pit seemed to have given this revival a good kick - with very punchy strings and brass. The ensemble of the chorus was rocked a bit but otherwise it was an enjoyable performance.
I was lucky to have gotten a ticket to see Bernard Haitink conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner 7th Symphony. No doubt it is a work that Haitink knows well - he did it without score. The movements were broad, had shape, and above all nuanced rather than bombastic. His mildmannered gestures were in starck contract to Andris Nelsons's rendition of Bruckner 8 (earlier in the season). It was a real treat to see this maestro still deliveirng the musical umph at 90. A memorable concert that was.