Bizet: Carmen (In English) - Te Kanawa, Smith, Neal, Hellawell; Robertson. Auckland, 1969
Listen to a Sample:
Even though Kiri Te Kanawa was only 25 when this performance took place, she asserts herself as a talent to be contended with. She may not be a "central casting" Carmen, but she makes the role work for her using her youth and pure Mozartian timbre to create a Carmen that is more Lolita than femme fatale. I was also surprised that she acquits the spoken dialogue, used in this performance which is sung in English, quite well. Donald Smith is an excellent Don José bringing both French grace and full-blooded dramatic singing to the proceedings. The sound is very good with the exception of the last 20 seconds of music which has minor digital interference.