The MET Live production of Carmen is a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works.
English director Carrie Cracknell reinvigorates the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries.
Carmen composer Georges Bizet was interested in dramatic realism, which is evident in the opera’s story. A young Romani woman named Carmen, who works in a cigarette factory in Seville, Spain, begins an affair with a military officer named Don Jose. Over the course of the opera, their relationship becomes fraught as she loses interest and he becomes more and more obsessed. When Carmen eventually chooses the bullfighter Escamillo over Don Jose, the former solider stabs her to death.
Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score.
Watch the trailer for Carmen – The MET Live in HD.