I started writing this play in English and Spanish in 2009 but the idea came to me eons before when I read Prosper Mérimée’s CARMEN andthen saw a performance of the George Bizet opera and was enthralled by the marvelous music. As to the story itself, one may say that it is trite — an inexperienced young soldier is fascinated by a fiercely independent gypsy. Then blind passion plummets him rapidly into a life of crime. And, of course, the faithless woman, a wildcat, soon
tires of her toy and replaces him with a more promising candidate.
When the young soldier is rejected, he pulls a sharp knife to punish the bewitcher. But he, the assassin, must also die. Though nothing new, this plot, as old as humankind, became irresistible once the right music, passionate operatic dialogue and raw characters were paired to the story. And thus emerged bewitching CARMEN, the perfect femme fatale, one who will break your heart
without a second thought.
She is everywhere: from opera to musical, from ballet to film, from France to Africa, from Spain to Australia, from Russia to the USA. Neither Mérimée nor Bizet delved into CARMEN’s complex nature, they just gave her to us full grown into an untamed, corrupted, appealing,
Is she a product of an unethical society?
Or a victim of neglect and ignorance?
Is her lack of moral sense a weapon of self-defense?
All we can do is speculate and wonder.
As perhaps did Jose. A betrayed man, perplexed and too much in love, too immature, too unaware of the art of taming a wildcat. Had he used the power of music, dance and poetry the ending could have been different.
But, of course, that’s another story.
And that’s the other story that CARMEN GARCIA intends to tell. And this time, she is the daughter of migrant workers and pushed by circumstances, she ends up working in the strawberry fields of Oxnard, California.
As her illustrious fictional ancestor, this daughter of Hispanic migrant workers is a gypsy and a fighter. She’s capable of coping with a grueling life and is proud of her origins. Eventually she may
recapture the values of her world which includes redemption and hope. It’s a world which bursts with an undivided love of poetry, music and dance.
Salsa dancing is an integral part of my play as is the music of Celia Cruz and other important Latin musicians.
Eventually I hope to find a theater that will perform this play and in the not distant future I intend to publish it in English and Spanish.