Opera 'Carmen' gets new ending to stop violence against women
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