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This all-star cast is framed by Peter Hall’s gritty, realistic production and conducted by James Levine, who brings out all the surging emotion and gripping drama in Bizet’s score. At the center of the story is Agnes Baltsa, whose smoky mezzo is tailor-made for the gypsy Carmen, an independent woman who glories in obeying only her own rules, but who is haunted by fate. Superstar tenor José Carreras is Don José, the solider from a small town who catches Carmen’s eye and is destroyed by his growing obsession with her. Samuel Ramey is the charismatic matador Escamillo, who lures Carmen away from Don José with tragic result. Leona Mitchell is Micaëla, the simple girl from Don José’s hometown who cannot save him.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Feb 28, 1987


Georges Bizet


Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

Run Time

2 HRS 51 MIN

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus, and Ballet