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By now you’ve seen the signs on the sides of buses and the ads in the papers: Carmen – The World’s Sexiest Opera. The sultry cornerstone of the opera canon – about a torrid affair between a Gypsy siren and a young soldier – is on in Vancouver through Oct. 5 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. But does it live up to all the sexy hype?
Well, yes. There’s more flesh, writhing and lap dancing in Carmen than in any Vancouver Opera production I can remember. But that’s just half the story. For opera newbies, Carmen is entertaining, accessible and – despite clocking in at three hours – surprisingly fast-paced.