Dear Don José,
You, Sir, are a liar and a cheat.
You are a disappointment among humanity, an epic failure as a man.
I feel the passion of a thousand Spanish suns on my face with the heat of my anger with you. You are, worst of all, disingenuous. Inauthentic at best.
I think most would also fault Carmen as well. Yes, she flirted. She suggests. She sang her siren song. (She may or may not have actually cast a “spell” as there is part of this story that makes me sad that the Romani people were often cast as the enemy, but I digress) He listened, initially appearing to be disinterested, or distracted? (Perhaps by his “alleged love” for Micaèla”?? HA.) Her behavior, while rude and brash, was at least somewhat logical. Carmen is true to herself above all (ok… and maybe she IS sort of magic…, but whatever… Carmen will always be free…)
She gave him the flower (a literal reference, as any “literary” bloom had long since left her possession), he tosses it away, only to manage to squirrel it away in his uniform so it is with him in prison…. for what? #spoileralert… allowing her to escape after slicing up another chica in the cigar factory.
So, dear Don José, this is why I left at the end of the first act. I know how this is going to go, and on this misty, rainy, can’t make-up-its-mind Sunday afternoon I didn’t want to watch or listen for another minute. In retrospect, I should have offered the tickets to someone else. As a bright spot in the otherwise cloudy afternoon, it was easy to exit the parking garage….
Oh, and D-José, one more thing….. thanks.
Because of your little story-turned-opera today, a figment of the vivid imagination of one story-teller named Prosper Méremée, circa 1830, from a novella, as I later discovered (thanks, Google). Anyway, because of your work then, your imagined story of love-lost, and love-squandered (poor Micaèla, btw). A story that is nearly 200 years old made me really angry! Which made me think. Isn’t it wonderful that the written word, albeit sung in this case, is still capable of stirring emotion? I was inspired to blog about it now, I’m inspired to write more of my own stories, with fleshed out broken, dysfunctional characters as well. I want my readers one day to yell into the book, to cry, to laugh!!
So, Don José, although we parted ways earlier than we should have today because I couldn’t bear to see you make such grievous errors in the name of love. I’m going to have to forgive you for all of your flaws. Quite simply because in spite of them, I was able to see that one unifying human condition is the desire for a good story. I can only hope that my words someday find a place on a stage… to inspire or enrage,but most importantly, to breathe emotion into the hearts of those who hear them.