Carmen, the MTV Diva

In Houston, the music is Bizet, but the style is more Rolling Stones

Carmen is a tattooed nightclub singer in a Tina Turner wig who smuggles Uzis after hours. Escamillo, her bullfighting boyfriend, looks as if he's been getting fashion tips from Wayne Newton's tailor. The orchestra is seated onstage, midway between five video screens and six hydraulic lifts; the conductor wears a leather vest, and the director's credits include a stint as Mick Jagger's choreographer. And everybody is miked, from the tenor to the timpani player.

This is opera, right? Absolutely, says David Gockley, general director of the Houston Grand Opera, which has mounted an up-to-the-second production of Georges Bizet's Carmen to show...

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