The Berliner Philharmoniker’s annual New Year’s Eve concert is one of the highlights in the calendar of every classical music fan. The program of the New Year’s Eve Concert 1997 bore the title ”Dances of Life, Love, and Death”, and was meant as a homage to Carmen. The Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of Claudio Abbado, performed a cross-section of famous melodies from George Bizet’s opera, plus famous dances that were influenced by it. Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy is played with fiery virtuosity by violinist Gil Shaham and transforms Bizet's melodies into a concentrated instrumental extravaganza. The Carmen theme continues with Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole and De Falla's Ritual Fire Dance. Including international superstars Anne Sofie von Otter, Bryn Terfel, Roberto Alagna, Gil Shaham and Mikhail Pletnev.