Opera 'Carmen' gets new ending to stop violence against women
04/01/2018 6:42AM

        After more than
        140 years of being stabbed to death on stage, the gypsy heroine
        of the opera "Carmen" gets her own revenge in a new Italian
        production - shooting her thwarted lover instead.
        The globally popular opera by French composer Georges Bizet,
        that held its premiere in 1875, will have a new ending when it
        opens on Jan. 7 in Florence to highlight the ongoing battle to
        stop violence against women in Italy.
        In the latest version, written by Italian director Leo
        Muscato, the flirtatious, fiery Carmen no longer dies at the
        hand of her rejected lover Don Jose whom she has abandoned for a
        bullfighter but pulls a gun on him.
        The head of Florence's Teatro del Maggio Musicale
        Foundation, Cristiano Chiarot, said he discussed changing the
        opera with Muscato to give it a more modern ending.
        "At a time when our society is having to confront the murder
        of women, how can we dare to applaud the killing of a woman?"
        Chiarot, who took up the role last year, told the Thomson
        Reuters Foundation in an email.
        Italian National Institute of Statistics figures show one in
        three Italian women aged 16-70 experienced physical or sexual
        violence in 2014 while 149 women were murdered in 2016, half of
        whom were killed by partners or ex-partners.
        The United Nations in 2012 said violence against women
        remained a "significant problem in Italy" and called domestic
        abuse "the most pervasive form of violence in Italy".
        The government has since adopted tougher laws to crackdown
        on violence against women but violence against women remains
        pervasive amid a culture of patriarchy, Chiarot said.
        "(Our opera) is an attempt to highlight the modern-day abuse
        and mistreatment of women in Italy where femicide is not an
        uncommon occurrence," Chiarot added.
        Paolo Antonio Klun, a spokesman from the Maggio, said the
        new "Carmen" was taking a stand when there is so much violence
        against women as theatre had a social role to fulfil.
        "The theatre must have an ethical and social function. It
        must transmit a message against violence," he told the Thomson
        Reuters Foundation