Not even Anna Caterina Antonacci as a smoking-hawt Carmen in stilettos, sequins, leopard print and black silk could save last night's disastrous opening at the Paris Opera that branded French theater director Yves Beaunesne's production full of fail -- drag queens and drug dealers, set in the 1970s during La Movida Madrileña was "silly and superficial" (as said politely, by The Financial Times).
Antonacci as Bizet's tragic, chain-smoking heroine was booed at the curtain call along with Beaunesne. Le Monde said "rarely has the Bizet masterpiece been such a complete failure." The French daily went on to say that Nikolai Schukoff as Don Josè sounded strangled and vocally-stunted while Ludovic Tezier as Escamillo was squashed into his role looking like an old Elvis Presley. Le Figaro also went to town with the headline "A Carmen too Blond to be Real" (Carmen trop blonde pour être vraie) and continued that the production distilled one of the most captivating operas of its repertory into boredom.