When I was about 15, I spent a summer at a well-known music camp where I participated in a number of operas, one of them Bizet's "Carmen." (I've already written about this here.) And while I naturally loved all the better known arias and songs from 'Carmen,' my favorite was probably "The Seguedilla," the song she uses to seduce Don Jose (a soldier who is supposed to be guarding the sexy miscreant). I've really enjoyed watching---and of course, hearing--- this version by gorgeous mezzo-soprano Jessie Raven. I thought it would be only right to share.
She's sitting on the table with her hands tied behind her, and singing while swinging her legs and gazing off into the distance, as if she just happens to be mentioning where she hangs out.... Every now and then she sort of steals a look at Don Jose to see whether he is taking it in. Very seductive and very like the way I remember or imagined the scene (I can no longer distinguish my memories of how it was played in the production I participated in and my subsequent reflections on how it ought to have looked).
What I love about this version is the way that all that seduction and passion just comes pouring out of this shackled woman. Nor is Carmen in the least daunted by Don Jose's seeming indifference. Carmen was the ultimate diva---in the contemporary slang sense, I mean.
I used to fantasize (I was 15) about performing just such a scene.
I always wanted to be a mezzo: I love that rich, lavish tone. Mezzo
just always seems so much more complex. I can't remember how I imagined performing it.
Other notes on Carmen are here (though sadly some of the videos are now unavailable). I always think this is one of the most accessible operas going----everyone should see and hear the whole of it at some point.
BONUS: Here's a very charming version by a lovely girl at Brooklyn College.