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BIZET’S CARMEN - May 8, 2010 - Florida Grand Opera 

Ah yes, the famous chair fiasco.  You knew you were in trouble when someone comes out before the curtain and explains the chairs in the scenery.  Apparently there was a budget crisis and set design was the first thing cut.  To compensate, most of the stage was taken over by wooden chairs.  (I personally think they paid more for the chairs than they saved on set design.) 

In any case, the explanation was that in Spain, at bars, chairs are often hung on the wall of the bar to provide more floor space.  When the bar gets busy, patrons take the chairs from the wall and sit down.  I will point out that I never saw this the hold time I was in Spain. 

Chairs were the burdens lugged over the moutain, chairs became the mountain.  Everywhere in the scene people were moving chairs.  It was extremely distracting and often took your attention away from the voice.  Kendall Gladen, if I remember, had a beautiful voice. 

Photo from the website of Florida Grand Opera.

© Fred Searcy 2017