Femme Fatale: social introspection

The Ateneo Center for Continuing Education of the School of Business Management did a lecture on Femme Fatale in Opera as delivered by Dr. Edward-David Ruiz a visiting professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, on December 8, 2012.

The lecture was set for the purpose of introduction and rudimentary exploration of the characters of two popular Femme Fatales in the history of the Opera, namely, Delilah (Delila – French) and Carmen.

The talk was outlined in a sequence of exploratory and comparative sub-discussions,  which relatively revealed the image of the feminine audacity of the Femme Fatale. Different bits of information on the short history, alongside the different clips of videos from different productions were presented.

Dr. Ruiz made clear that there is no direct reference to these women as prostitutes since the objective of the luring is put into question, and thus the fatality of these women is never confined in the collective notion.

The lecture was closed with videos from different productions and performances.


This may purposively be for entertainment, but to dig deeper into the social construct created for the character, there may actually be a worthwhile discussion on the recreated image of women.

SamsonAndDelilahRubensAs the popular story went, Delilah was a luring element to the defeat of Samson. She was made use for her charm and beauty, and nothing else.

Annex - Dandridge, Dorothy (Carmen Jones)_03Carmen was a Femme Fatale in a sense that she made use of her flirtatious personality to lure Don Jose. But she came to a point that she grew tired of Don Jose, while she fell into the arms of Escamillo. She was then stabbed to death by the former in the end.

Though this may be ballooning up what the opera really is about, it is interesting to note that both characters depict objectification of women in  sense that they are not more than an allure and charm to most. There is the notion that women tend to rely on this understanding of the self.

It is but clear in the case of Delilah. But the case of Carmen was worse in a way that she was simply portrayed as a woman who only defines herself on how she can get men she wants, or on the man itself. The death was a proof that women, in the end, fall in the trap of the man’s world.


Both operas have been popular as they show beneath the woman psyche of audacity. But further one gets, there is a but a social construct to examine.


[Featured photo] http://www.cce.ateneo.edu/

[Carmen] http://www.doctormacro.com

[Samon and Delilah] www.cosmicwind.net


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