Callas is Carmen

The publicity campaign for Maria Callas’s 1964 recording of Bizet’s Carmen proclaimed: “Callas is Carmen.”
[In the Seguidilla, Carmen] replies quietly that she is not speaking, but only singing; moreover, she insists that she is not addressing [Don José], but sings for her own pleasure. These are two crucial distinctions José never grasps: that she may be performing rather than interacting and that he may be irrelevant to her utterances rather than their intended target. Narcissistic bourgeois subject that he most fatally is, he believes in the transparency of language and in himself as the perspectival center of his universe. He thus has no defenses against this woman who is a virtuoso of irony, ambiguity, slippage, decentering and multiple discursive practices.
Susan McClary, Carmen (Cambridge Opera Handbook)

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