Bizet's Carmen

Calixto Bieito (stage director), Sir Mark Elder (conductor) – With Elīna Garanča (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José), Maria Agresta (Micaëla)...

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Calixto Bieito — Stage director

Alfons Flores — Set designer

Mercè Paloma — Costumes

Alberto Rodríguez Vega — Lighting

Elīna Garanča — Carmen

Roberto Alagna — Don José

Maria Agresta — Micaëla

Ildar Abdrazakov — Escamillo

Vannina Santoni — Fraquista

Antoinette Dennefeld — Mercédès

Boris Grappe — Le Dancaïre

François Rougier — Le Remendado

François Lis — Zuniga

Jean-Luc Ballestra — Moralès

Alain Azérot — Lillas Pastia

Chœur de l’Opéra national de Paris

Program notes

Bizet's Carmen returns to the Paris Opera for a production to kindle every passion, starring the incandescent Elīna Garanča in the title role and Roberto Alagna as Don José—as well as Maria Agresta as Micaëla and Ildar Abdrazakov as Escamillo! In this provocative staging by Calixto Bieito, our heroine takes on a grittier and less exoticized disposition, making her tragic plight resound with real-world implications.

Rather than in the fantastical Spain imagined by Prosper Mérimée in his novella that inspired Bizet, Bieito situates his Carmen in a contemporary milieu characterized by economic instability and aggressive machismo. The remarkable depth of this all-star cast shows in the quality of their vocals and their dramatic conviction, while Sir Mark Elder leads the Paris Opera Orchestra in one of the most famous operatic scores ever composed—one that sounds resolutely modern even a century and a half after its composition.

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