Into battle – whether eye to eye with the bull, or against a human adversary. In the baking Spanish heat a motley trio are engaged in a struggle between attraction and revulsion, passion and egotism, love and betrayal. Headstrong Carmen lives only for the pleasures of the day; she sees herself and others as mere playthings, and scorns love. For the soldier Don José, the passion which he has sought and found in Carmen becomes his downfall when the virile bullfighter Escamillo disturbs their already crumbling relationship. Georges Bizet’s intoxicating rhythms and ravishing melodies accompany this dance on the volcano’s edge. At the premiere in 1875 in Paris the opera was denounced as »a highly immoral work«. The charge of immorality is difficult to deny. And even worse: this drama of jealous passions becomes a tale of villainy with a deadly conclusion. In the arena the people cheer the victorious torrero. Outside, Carmen meets Don José for the last time. Murder. The curtain falls.
Opera in four acts by Georges Bizet Performed in French with German supertitles
Premiere 28 Sep 2013