Bizet

Carmen

16 May – 17 June & 1 – 24 August 2024

Award-winning Broadway director Diane Paulus brings us a powerful new Carmen.

Passion ignites when Don José meets the fiercely independent Carmen, but she won’t give up her freedom without a fight.

The energy and emotion of Bizet’s score collide with urgent, raw choreography in this visceral new production.

Sung in French with English supertitles.


Creative team

Conductor
Robin Ticciati (16 May – 17 June)
Anja Bihlmaier (1 – 24 August)

Director
Diane Paulus

Set Designer
Riccardo Hernández

Costume Designer
Evie Gurney

Lighting Designer
Malcolm Rippeth

Choreographer
Jasmin Vardimon

Fight Director
Bret Yount

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Glyndebourne Chorus
Chorus Director Aidan Oliver

Associate Director
Laura Attridge

Assistant Director
Adam Torrance

Intimacy Director
Hannah Rose Goalstone

Assistant Conductors
Jack Ridley (16 May – 17 June)
Christopher White (1 – 24 August)

Assistant to the Choreographer
Robin Gladwin

Senior Coach
Steven Maughan

Repetiteurs
Matthew Fletcher
Ben-San Lau

Language Coach
Florence Daguerre de Hureaux

Assistant Chorus Director
Avishka Edirisinghe

Cast includes

Carmen
Rihab Chaieb (16 May – 17 June)
Aigul Akhmetshina (1 – 24 August)

Don José
Dmytro Popov (16 – 19 May & 30 May – 17 June)
Evan Leroy Johnson (1 – 24 August)
John Findon (23 & 26 May)

Escamillo
Dmitry Cheblykov (16 May – 17 June)
Łukasz Goliński (1 – 24 August)

Micaëla
Sofia Fomina (16 May – 17 June)
Janai Brugger (1 – 24 August)

Zuniga
Dingle Yandell

Moralès
Alex Otterburn (16 May – 17 June)
Thomas Mole (1 – 24 August)

Frasquita
Elisabeth Boudreault

Mercédès
Kezia Bienek

Le Dancaïre
Loïc Félix

Le Remendado
François Piolino

Lillas Pastia
Esteban Lecoq

Le Guide
John Mackenzie-Lavansch*

Dancers
Camilla Curiel, Marta Gimeno Nafria, Jess Hull, Thomas Kerek, Lewis James, Andrea Paniagua

Singing Children:

Glyndebourne Youth Opera: Samson Clarke, Alisa Collin, Bethany Gander, Alex Griscti-Soler, Scarlett Hiles, Amelia Howard, Phoebe MacMorland, Lola Mitchell, Esme Parsons, Sophia Reed, Hana-Ines Slater, Theodora Tsang

Trinity Boys Choir: Josiah Alfred, Thomas Day, Jacob Hayee, Rishi Mudunuru, Liam Nai, Sebastian Onalaja, Monty Owen, Henry Pettitt, Filippo Watson

* Soloist from The Glyndebourne Chorus

Photos

Photos: Richard Hubert Smith


Advisory information about Carmen

The opera Carmen is a tragedy about a woman’s struggle to retain her freedom. There is onstage violence and death, though it is not gratuitous or gory. There are also sexual references and scenarios.


Synopsis

Act I

Outside a factory

A group of soldiers on duty are killing time. The arrival of Micaëla catches their attention – she is looking for a soldier named Don José. Moralès tells her that Don José will be arriving soon with the next shift. Micaëla declines his invitation to wait, saying she’ll come back later.

The relief guard appear, led by Zuniga. Moments later, a bell rings and the soldiers gather to watch the female workers emerge from the cigarette factory. The men are all hoping for a smile or glance from one woman: Carmen. Only Don José appears to be immune to her charms.

Once the women have gone back into the factory, Don José reflects on his encounter with Carmen. Micaëla returns and delivers a letter from his mother back home in the country. Just as he finishes reading it, uproar spills out of the factory: Carmen has been accused of fighting with, and wounding, another worker. Don José is ordered to take her into custody, but Carmen, with a provocative song that promises a liaison at a nearby club, persuades him to let her escape instead.

Synopsis

Act II

In Lillas Pastia’s club

Carmen and her friends, Frasquita and Mercédès, sing and dance for an appreciative crowd, which includes Moralès and Zuniga. Zuniga tells them that Don José has just been released from custody, having been imprisoned and demoted for his part in Carmen’s escape.

Their conversation is interrupted by the entrance of renowned bullfighter Escamillo; admired by all, he only has eyes for Carmen. Once the club is empty, smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado arrive to ask for the women’s help with their next scheme. Carmen refuses to go with them because she wants to wait for Don José.

Don José arrives and Carmen dances for him, but at the sound of the call-to-barracks in the distance, he prepares to return to duty. She mocks him, and when she demands he choose between the army and her love, he reveals he hasn’t stopped thinking about her since their first meeting. Zuniga suddenly returns. Overcome with jealousy, Don José attacks his commanding officer. The smugglers return, summoned by Carmen, and Don José has no choice but to join them – he can never return to the army.

Synopsis

Act III

On a mountain pass

The smugglers are operating from a camp in the mountains. Carmen has grown tired of Don José and his controlling behaviour, and she tells him to go home to his mother. The women tell their fortunes: the cards foretell love and riches for Frasquita and Mercédès, but only death for Carmen.

Escamillo turns up unexpectedly, still determined to pursue Carmen. After a violent encounter with the jealous Don José, he invites everyone, especially Carmen, to his next bullfight. Another surprise arrival – Micaëla – appears in the camp with news: Don José’s mother is dying and he must return home as a matter of urgency. He agrees to leave, but swears to Carmen that they will meet again.

Synopsis

Act IV

At the bullring

It’s the day of the bullfight, and the crowd gathers in anticipation. Escamillo arrives with Carmen on his arm. Frasquita and Mercédès warn her that Don José is lurking in the crowd, and beg her to take care, but Carmen is unafraid.

Don José approaches Carmen and begs her to come back to him, pleading for her love. Carmen tells him that their relationship is over, and she will live – or die – free. As the crowd inside the bullring roars and cheers for Escamillo, Don José kills Carmen.

Performance timings

Timings are subject to change.

*Restaurants open

Dates:
16, 23, 30 May
7, 10, 13, 15, 17 June
1 August

Gardens open: 3.00pm
Opera starts: 5.00pm
Interval (20 mins): 5.55pm
Opera resumes: 6.15pm
Interval (90 mins)*: 7.00pm
Opera resumes: 8.30pm
Opera ends: 9.35pm

Dates:
19, 26 May
2 June
4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24 August

Gardens open: 2.00pm
Opera starts: 4.00pm
Interval (20 mins): 4.55pm
Opera resumes: 5.15pm
Interval (90 mins)*: 6.00pm
Opera resumes: 7.30pm
Opera ends: 8.35pm

For recommended trains and coach timings visit our how to get here page.


Supported by a Syndicate and Circle of individuals

Bring world-class opera to the stage

To find out more about production support for Festival 2024 click here
or contact our Director of Development, Helen McCarthy for an informal chat:
call 01273 815 032 or email helen.mccarthy@glyndebourne.com


Main image: Photography by Charles Stanislaw Graham/Thursday’s Child. Art direction & design by Ollie Winser

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