“As Carmen, Clémentine Margaine brought a real sultriness to the role, fully inhabiting her character. Carmen is a tricky character to play: is she a smouldering temptress or a woman who uses her body to get what she wants? Does she love Don José or is she using him throughout the opera? Margaine showed us a woman doing the latter in both cases. This Carmen is bored; bored by the cigarette factory, bored by her admirers, bored with dancing and seducing and having adventures. This is a Carmen at the end of her tether. If she’d been anything but a gypsy, she might have passed on her mantle and settled down to make hats. Her seduction of Don José was done purely out of need. Gone, though, was the dialogue between her and Le Dancaïre where the latter suggests she convince José to join them. It led to the question ‘why?’ Why did she convince a man she clearly couldn’t care less about to desert his post and join her band of gypsies? Because of the cut dialogue, these questions went unanswered. Throughout, though, Margaine sang with a deep, rich mezzo, her diction clear and perfect. She oozed sexiness and contempt. Hers is certainly a Carmen to watch.”

Christie Franke, Bachtrack