(Fort Worth Opera, 2009)

Opera News:

“Stage director John de los Santos whipped up plenty of motion and heat.”

Fort Worth Business Press:

“Fort Worth Opera’s annual festival has launched in grand form with a Carmen in a class with that of any other first-rate troupe one might care to mention.”

The Dallas Morning News: 

“A thrilling Carmen…a lively staging. Director John de los Santos has certainly animated the Georges Bizet opera.”

Theater Jones:

“Advance publicity for the Fort Worth Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen promised a “traditional” production. However, the implication of ‘traditional,’ for some of us at least, means stodginess and deliberate adherence to old ideas. That doesn’t begin to describe the level of directorial insight and imagination displayed in this production. Director John de los Santos (who also choreographed several dance sequences) discovered multitudes of innuendos, subtexts, cross-relationships and possibilities—most obviously in the words, but frequently in the music as well. In decades of opera going, I’ve never seen a performance of Carmen that realized the dramatic possibilities of the piece so well.”

Fort Worth Weekly:

” …a stark, unflinching look at working-class life in 19th-century Spain, at least in the eyes of stage director John de los Santos. Gone was the polite fiction of Carmen as a good girl playing bad that we got years ago. An almost film noir atmosphere hung over the production, a sense of impending doom. Even the goings-on in the gypsy hideout that sometimes have a light-hearted camaraderie, had a dark, decadent feel. The sold-out house loved the whole evening, hollering itself hoarse at the end.”