Bizet | Carmen - Royal Opera House


  • Royal Opera House

The Story

The young soldier Don José intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village. But when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen, he sacrifices everything to be with her.

Carmen grows tired of Don José and falls in love with the toreador Escamillo. Unable to bear her leaving him, Don José tracks Carmen down to a bullring where Escamillo is fighting and murders her.

Background

Carmen is the most popular work from French composer Georges Bizet. For this, his 17th and last opera, Bizet took inspiration from the popular novella by Prosper Mérimée, which had enticed French readers with exotic tales of Spain. Its heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage and the opera was a critical failure on its premiere in 1875. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success Carmen would achieve. Popular around the world, the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.

The opera contains many much-loved numbers, such as Carmen’s seductive Habanera and Escamillo’s rousing Toreador Song, in which he celebrates the thrill of the bullfight. In Francesca Zambello’s 2006 production for The Royal Opera, richly coloured designs by Tanya McCallin capture the sultry heat of the Spanish sun, while ranks of soldiers, crowds of peasants, gypsies and bullfighters bring 19th-century Seville to life.

Cast

  • Carmen – Elena Maximova (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4 Nov) / Anita Rachvelishvili (7, 10, 14, 16, 21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Don José – Bryan Hymel (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4, 7, 10 Nov) / Jonas Kaufmann (14, 16 Nov) / Yonghoon Lee (21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Escamillo – Alexander Vinogradov (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4, 7, 10 Nov) / Gábor Bretz (14, 16, 21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Micaëla – Nicole Car (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4 Nov) / Sonya Yoncheva (7, 10, 14, 16 Nov) / Celine Byrne (21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Frasquita – Vlada Borovko §
  • Mercédès – Michèle Losier (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4, 7, 10 Nov) / Rachel Kelly (14, 16, 21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Le Dancaïre – Grant Doyle (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4, 7, 10 Nov) / Adrian Clarke (14, 16, 21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Remendado – Timothy Robinson (19, 21, 24, 27, 30 Oct; 4, 7, 10 Nov) / Harry Nicoll (14, 16, 21, 26, 30 Nov)
  • Zuniga – Nicolas Courjal
  • Moralès – Samuel Dale Johnson §
  • Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

§ Jette Parker Young Artist

19 | 21 | 24 | 27 | 30 October at 7pm
4 | 7 | 10 | 14 | 16 | 26 | 30 November at 7pm
21 November at 12 noon