Rihab Chaieb Shines as Carmen at Glyndebourne Festival

Rihab Chaieb Shines as Carmen at Glyndebourne Festival
© Richard Hubert Smith

The Glyndebourne Festival opened this year with a spectacular production of Bizet’s "Carmen," featuring the immensely talented mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb in the titular role. Chaieb's performance has been met with widespread critical acclaim, solidifying her reputation as one of the most captivating mezzo-sopranos in contemporary opera.

Carmen | Official trailer | Glyndebourne

Richard Morrison of The Times praised Chaieb as a "Tunisian-Canadian mezzo with a mesmerising stage personality, a big voice with a particularly strong lower register, and a seemingly endless supply of stroppy, taunting and exasperated facial expressions."

Tim Ashley of The Guardian highlighted Chaieb's ability to embody Carmen's complex character, noting that she is "rebellious, mocking, manipulative...Her way with words is insightful, beguiling and always telling." Chaieb’s nuanced interpretation of Carmen reveals her deep understanding of the character’s multifaceted nature, allowing her to deliver a performance that is both compelling and richly textured.

Nicholas Kenyon from The Telegraph offered high praise for Chaieb's vocal and theatrical abilities, stating, "Rihab Chaieb’s Carmen is warm, unusually light-hearted, beautifully sung, with an ample tone but ideal focus; she has a natural extroversion and flashing eyes that make her flirtatiousness natural, and she is an obvious target for Don José’s passion." Kenyon's remarks emphasise Chaieb’s ability to balance Carmen's flirtatiousness with heartfelt warmth, creating a portrayal that resonates deeply with audiences.

Richard Fairman of the Financial Times was equally impressed, describing Chaieb as "a Carmen who manages to be playful and daredevil at the same time. Her eyes flash with wit, insolence, sensuality and danger, and her voice echoes them with singing that has colours to spare. For a complete portrayal that radiates charisma, it would be hard to do better than this." Fairman’s comments underscore Chaieb’s exceptional ability to combine vocal artistry with a charismatic stage presence, making her performance a standout in the festival.

Rihab Chaieb's portrayal of Carmen will continue to captivate audiences at Glyndebourne until June 17th. Viewers still have time to see her live on stage and experience her extraordinary talent first-hand.

Rihab Chaieb

Rihab Chaieb

Mezzo Soprano


"a tour de force of singing and acting"

Visit Artist Page

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