About the showENO's 2019/20 season rolls on with an urgent, sensual revival of Bizet's Carmen starring mezzo Justina Gringytė. Be transported to sun-drenched Spain when this production makes its strictly limited run at the London Coliseum from 29 January 2020.
Carmen is the work of French composer Georges Bizet, who based it upon a novella by Prosper Mérimée. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The piece was met with shock and scandal when it premiered in Paris in 1875, but went on to find widespread acclaim shortly after Bizet's death. Today it is one of the most frequently performed operas, its arias 'Toreador Song' and 'Habanero' immediately recognisable across the world.
The piece takes us to 1970s Spain during the Franco regime. The fiery Carmen leaves desire in her wake. When her rejected lover, soldier Don José, sets out to commit revenge, Carmen's life is threatened by jealousy and obsession.
Critically lauded mezzo Justina Gringytė (Hänsel und Gretel, Rigoletto) returns in the titular role. Sean Panikkar is José and Nardus Williams as Micaëla, both making their ENO debuts. Baritone Ashley Riches (Le Nozze di Figaro) is Escamillo the bullfighter.
Direction comes from Calixto Bieito, whose previous credits include Don Giovanni and Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
ENO Mackerras Fellow Valentina Peleggi conducts. Joan Anton Rechi is Associate Director, while Jamie Manton is Revival Director. Set design is the work of Alfons Flores, costume design comes from Mercè Paloma and lighting design is by Bruno Poet. Christopher Cowell is the production's translator.
A co-production with Den Norske Opera and Ballet, Carmen will utterly seduce you. Witness this scorching show at the London Coliseum from 29 January 2020.
Please note that the role of José will be played by David Butt Philip on 25 and 27 February.
Who Should See It?Devotees of Bizet shouldn't miss this sensuous new production of his most famous piece. If you've not attended the opera before, Carmen is an ideal, accessible introduction.