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Georges Bizet’s opera to Henri Meilhac’s and Ludovic Halévy’s libretto, based on the eponymous novelette by Prosper Mérimée

World premiere: 3 March, 1875 at Parise Opéra Comique
Premiere on 26 May, 2011 in the Estonian National Opera

Sung in French with subtitles in Estonian and English
Approx. running time 3 h 30 min, two intermissions

When Carmen was first staged in France (1875), it received negative feedback: its plot was considered immoral and characters vulgar. Bizet shocked the audience by portraying ordinary people on stage – villagers, factory workers, gypsies, smugglers, and by showing the death of the main character on stage. At the premiere, the actors were booed off and the performance was denounced by the critics. Pyotr Tchaikovsky understood the greatness of this piece and predicted a brilliant future for the opera: “Ten years from now it will be the most popular opera in the world”. And he was right, because Carmen bursts with life, passion, liberty and dynamics.

Bizet died only three months after the premiere never knowing that „Carmen“ would become one of the most popular operas in such a short time, performed in opera theatres all over the world, and that the toreador’s song and main character’s habanera would be the symbols of opera music for many generations. In the Estonian National Opera, Carmen will be staged by Walter Sutcliffe whose fanciful staging of Così fan tutte was extremely successful last season.

Sutcliffe considers Carmen multifaceted. “Bizet’s Carmen has many faces. It mixes psychological drama and melodrama, documentary and dark comedy, working in formats ranging from the panoramic to the close up, using styles that range from grand opera to intimate spoken theatre to the overtly showy popular musical. Our production will explore these differences, while allowing the documentary style elements of the narrative to put us firmly in the world of Jose and Carmen – to observe their story as it plays out in 19th century Sevilla.”

Staging team
Music Director and Conductor: Arvo Volmer
Conductors: Risto Joost, Mihhail Gerts, Jüri Alperten
Stage Director: Walter Sutcliffe (England)
Designer: Liina Keevallik
Lighting Designer: Maldar-Mikk Kuusk
Choreographer: Claudia Lenaerts
Fight Choreographer: Hellar Bergmann

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Name/Date Location Ticket prices Delivery type
Fr.18.03.2016 19:00
Carmen / Ooper
20.60 - 31.60 €
14.48 - 22.21 LVL
Th.24.03.2016 19:00
Carmen / Ooper
17.60 - 28.60 €
12.37 - 20.10 LVL
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