Written by French composer Georges Bizet, the four-act opera was first performed in 1875. On its premiere, Carmen scandalised audiences due to its breaking of conventions. Unfortunately, Bizet would pass away sometime after only the 33rd performance, and would become unaware of the international acclaim the opera would achieve. Two songs from the show, ‘Habanera’ and ‘Toreador’s Song’ are two of the best known operatic arias.
Set in Southern Spain, Carmen tells of the downfall of a naïve soldier who is seduced by the fiery Carmen. Abandoning his childhood sweetheart and the military, he goes after Carmern, who in turn favours another man. The production explored the complex relationship between the sexes and, in this interpretation, is set at the end of Franco’s regime in the 1970s.
Justina Gringytė returns to the title role, with rising stars Sean Pinikkar and Nardus Williams playing José and Micaëla. In the role of Escamillo, Ashley Riches makes a welcome return to the ENO.
This production of Carmen at the London Coliseum is directed by Calixto Bieito, who has directed operas internationally including in Paris and Barcelona.
A searing depiction of a woman craving love, Carmen is an opera which will explore obsession and jealousy with a passionate and filling score. See Carmen at the London Coliseum from January 29th 2020.
Suggested age guidance 14+. This production contains sexual references and scenes of male nudity.