• Carmen Educator Guide

What to Expect from Carmen

Fiery, tempestuous, volcanic: time and again, Carmen has been described as a force of nature. The beautiful, strong-willed gypsy leads a soldier to leave behind the life he knows, but then shifts her affections, to a tragic end. She’s been portrayed by stars from Rita Hayworth to Beyoncé. Her story has been told in flamenco, in hip-hop, in settings from the Netherlands to South Africa, in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, and in more than 70 films by directors as diverse as Jean-Luc Godard and Charlie Chaplin.

  • Classroom Activity

    A full-length activity, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.
  • Musical Highlights

    Four "Musical Highlights" designed to focus on bits of music from Carmen to cultivate familiarity with the work.
  • Performance Activities

    Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.
  • Post-Show Discussion

    A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts and humanities.

Carmen at the Met

Now Carmen returns to the Met stage—and is brought to the HD screen—in a new production by Olivier Award winner Richard Eyre, starring Elīna Garanča in the iconic title role and Roberto Alagna as the obsessed soldier Don José. “Carmen is about sex, violence, and racism—and its corollary: freedom,” the director says. “It is one of the inalienably great works of art. It’s sexy, in every sense. And I think it should be shocking.”

While telling a dramatic and passionate story, the opera also raises enduring philosophical questions about the nature of freedom, the barriers of social class, life outside the law, and the limits of romance. And then there’s Bizet’s immortal music—melodies that have made their way into the global songbook and even to Broadway, in Oscar Hammerstein’s Carmen Jones.

The material and activities in this guide are designed to involve students in the thrills, the conflicts, and the musical drama of Carmen. In the full-length Classroom Activity, they will investigate connections between Carmen and the timeless subject of liberty. Shorter activities invite close listening to Bizet’s music and discussion of some of the composer’s techniques. By introducing students to a work that has captivated generations of opera-goers, this guide will help you engage young people’s interest in the Met’s Live in HD production of Carmen.

The synopsis can be found here.