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Top Pick: A mime interprets Carmen

The true and tested tale of Carmen, a fiery and temperamental Gypsy woman, has delighted opera and film audiences for years. Now, Slovak actor and director Milan Sládek has added a new twist to the story by adapting the opera version of Carmen into a comic mime performance which will premiere March 29 at the Arena Theatre (Divadlo Aréna) in Petržalka.
Sládek has donned a mime's paint for years, winning international acclaim for his adaptation of the Grande Pierrot, a famous 19th century Czech mime who went to Paris. He was excited about the potential fun involved in putting on Carmen's crazy love story. "A woman loves a man who loves another woman who in turn loves yet another man," said Sládek. "Entanglements such as these are not unique in literature nor in drama. It becomes more interesting, however, when such a plot is combined with the fundamental character traits of Carmen: temper, pride and strength."


Milan Sládek said he had been fascinated with the opera Carmen since he was a 15-year-old boy.

The true and tested tale of Carmen, a fiery and temperamental Gypsy woman, has delighted opera and film audiences for years. Now, Slovak actor and director Milan Sládek has added a new twist to the story by adapting the opera version of Carmen into a comic mime performance which will premiere March 29 at the Arena Theatre (Divadlo Aréna) in Petržalka.

Sládek has donned a mime's paint for years, winning international acclaim for his adaptation of the Grande Pierrot, a famous 19th century Czech mime who went to Paris. He was excited about the potential fun involved in putting on Carmen's crazy love story. "A woman loves a man who loves another woman who in turn loves yet another man," said Sládek. "Entanglements such as these are not unique in literature nor in drama. It becomes more interesting, however, when such a plot is combined with the fundamental character traits of Carmen: temper, pride and strength."

Sládek was enraptured by the tale as a 15-year-old when he saw the opera for the first time. "We studied the original tale of Carmen with great respect, but our Carmen is not totally classical." Henrich Leško adapted the opera music from Carmen for the mime performance.

Thus the master of mime will play Carmen, a woman who Sládek described as a rebel. "She didn't play the part of a traditional woman in her times," he said. "She was an independent woman." The other main character, Don José, will be performed by Ingrid Portellová. Ballet dancer Jozef Dolinský was responsible for choreographing the performance.

Tickets for the premiere: 150 Sk, (90 Sk for regular performances). Starts at 19:00 March 29,30. Divadlo Aréna (Petržalka), Viedenská cesta. Tel: 6224 6875.

Andrea Chalupová

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