"I'm a novice opera fan, so my review won't provide a ton of technical information for the aficionado. But if you're like me and you're just starting out with opera, this is a great place to begin. Carmen is one of the best and most dramatic operas of all time. If you haven't listened to it before, you'll recognize many of the songs because they have been recycled numerous times and are really almost standard pieces of pop culture (I believe the overture even is featured as background music to the Tetris video game.) Although my ear is not yet refined enough to do a really critical comparison between this recording and others, I feel that this release does Bizet's masterpiece justice. As always, Domingo is amazing. Plus, this nice three disk recording gives you the Carmen experience without breaking your budget."
Fine for the price
J. Rabideau | Stuck in the Loser State | 05/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As with all Opera d'Oro or GALA-label recordings, this is a live performance, and not a studio recording. Don't buy this expecting studio-calibre sound. This is a recording of a live performance from 1974. The sound quality varies between mediocre and sub-mediocre (there are, I assure you, worse...I'm blessed with owning some of them...such is the cost of a love for opera, on the budget of a student). Buy this recording to find out if you like Bizet's "Carmen"...the quality is more than sufficient to gain a feel for the opera; if you've already established yourself as a lover of "Carmen", you might wish to bypass this in favour of any of the myriad studio productions, and get yourself something with the libretto included."
A technically poor-quality recording of Carmen
Paul A. Dunphy | 10/15/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Technically, this is a very poor quality recording. It sounds as if this live performance had been recorded by a portable tape recorder held by someone in the audience. Even at a bargain price, skip this Carmen."
Run of the mill
Paul A. Dunphy | Bogota, New Jersey USA | 11/01/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Placido Domingo, Adriana Maliponte, Jose Van Dam and Georges Pretre all recorded this opera commercially - two of them several times - so the interest in this recording lies with Fiorenza Cossotto. Her interpretation is quite standard; she ignites no sparks and brings no new insights to the part. Her voice is a little brighter than many people may be used to in their gypsy seductress but there is nothing really to complain about. The sound is standard for a live recording of the 1970s. It improves with repeated listenings. The version uses the traditional Guiraud recitatives instead of spoken dialog. All in all, unless you're a diehard Cossotto fan, there is little reason to purchase this. Go for one of the inexpensive commerical recordings."