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The Met begins the New Year with a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works. Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell makes her Met debut, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score. Later in the season, another cast of world-class singers takes over, with mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprising her captivating portrayal of the title role, tenor Michael Fabiano as Don José, soprano Ailyn Pérez as Micaëla, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as Escamillo, and Diego Matheuz making his company debut on the podium.
Production a gift of Adrienne Arsht and Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard
Languages sung in Carmen
Title languages displayed for Carmen
Met Titles In
Timeline for the show, Carmen
Estimated Run Time
3 hrs 25 mins
Act I and II
Acts III and IV
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Georges Bizet (1838–1875) was known as a brilliant student and prodigy, but his works only found lasting success after his untimely death—most notably Carmen, which premiered three months before he died. Librettist Henri Meilhac (1831–1897) would subsequently provide the libretto for Massenet’s Manon (1884). His collaborator on Carmen was Ludovic Halévy (1834–1908), the nephew of composer Jacques Fromental Halévy (creator of the opera La Juive and Bizet’s father-in-law). The libretto is based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée (1803–1870), a French dramatist, historian, and archaeologist.