LIVE IN HD
On January 27, acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell brings in a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly popular and powerful works to cinemas, reinvigorating the classic story of deadly passion with a staging that moves the action to the modern day, amid a band of human traffickers. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the touchstone role of the irresistible femme fatale, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s overmatched lover Don José and soprano Angel Blue as the devoted Micaëla. Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is the swaggering Escamillo, and Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to movie theaters across the globe.
English StreamText captioning is available for the Met’s transmission of Carmen here. A transcript of the transmission will also be available to view after the live performance.
Buy tickets for Carmen live in the opera house here.
Production a gift of Adrienne Arsht and Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard
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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.
The score of Carmen contains so many instantly recognizable tunes that it can be easy to overlook how well constructed it is. The major solos are excellent combinations of arresting melody and dramatic purpose—from the baritone’s famous Toreador Song to the tenor’s wrenching Flower Song to the title character’s alluring Habanera and Seguidilla—and the duets and ensembles are equally beguiling.