Georges Bizet Carmen is one of the most popular operas ever written. The four-part opera, set in southern Spain, tells the story of the downfall of Don José.

Don José, a naive Spanish policeman working away from home, is called upon by his mother to marry his childhood friend Micaela. However, Don José’s world is changed when he is seduced by the fiery Carmen into freeing her from police custody, leading him to abandon Micaela and his mother’s wishes. Jealousy, chaos and heartbreak ensues.

When Carmen was first performed at the Opera-Comique in Paris in 1875, most reviews were critical. It was only after the opera was revived in Paris in 1883 that it rapidly acquired popularity at home and abroad.

Carmen’s gorgeous melodies have ensured its continued popularity- Escamillo’s Toreador Song, Carmen’s Habanera, Don José’s Flower Song are some of the most widely known pieces of Western classical music.

Now, Melbourne City Ballet’s Artistic Director Michael Pappalardo reimagines Carmen to Bizet’s famous score to bring to life an evocative opera ballet paying homage to the well known Spanish inspired tragedy.


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