I feel out of space reviewing this performance seeing my *operatic* ignorance and reluctance to learn enjoying it at its fullest (with some exceptions of the likes of Pavarotti's and Maria Callas' voices and lives. But then, who would not love them?). However, when Ale offered me a ticket a for Christmas, I decided to give it another go. The centre-staged scenography of the Royal Albert Hall replaced the stalls creating an involving setting. The gipsy costumes were cool and, thanks to Steve's cool binoculars, I got intimate close-ups. Being able to see the facial expressions as well as listen to the voices made a huge difference in empathising with the character's emotions. And sensuality. The music was flawless to my amateuristic ear but too *familiar*. The songs have been so commercialised that my mind kept associating them with advertisements and products. To my shame, I didn't even realise that Carmen was performed by a soprano and a mezzo soprano, and so Micalea's role. The biggest disappointment was the language: it was in English! Ale still can't get to terms with the unaware choice of having booked it in translation. "Which country does need to translate opera?!", She wondered. I welcomed dialogic parts in lieu of recitals, as I can't stand the latter, but in English I felt like being at a musical more than the opera.