Carmen (1875)

by Georges Bizet

Possibly the most popular opera ever written, this is a passionate story of a woman’s quest for freedom, no matter the cost.
In French, accompanied by piano.

Packed with famous tunes, Carmen, the opera, has been a phenomenon since its scandalous opening in 1875. Bizet died without knowing that his work would become one of the most popular operas of all time. Our modern-dress production will go beyond stereotypes to explore the woman at the heart of this story of love, passion, jealousy and tragedy.

Creative Team

conductor: Peter Oleskevich
stage directors: Andrew Pelrine and Nina Scott-Stoddart
collaborative pianist: Giancarlo Scalia
stage manager: JoAnna Black
assistant director: Erin Bardua
costume designer: Elizabeth Perry
props mistress: Judy Reade
vocal and diction coach: Jason Davis

Performance Dates and Times

Performances at Sir James Dunn Theatre at the Dal Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax
(dates and times subject to change)
Friday, August 4, 7:30 pm
Sunday, August 6, 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 10, 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 12, 2:00 pm

Tickets

Tickets for Carmen are $30 for general admission, $20 for student (aged 13 to university) and $5 for children under 13.  Tickets are available in advance online from TicketHalifax.com, in person at The Coast offices, and by phone with credit card at (902)-422-6278 ex. 500. Our box office opens outside the Sir James Dunn Theatre at the Dal Arts Centre from one hour before show time, and any remaining tickets are available to purchase then. At the door we accept cash, cheques and Visa/MasterCard. For more details about buying tickets, see our Ticket Information Page.

Cast List

CARMEN by Bizet  
CarmenRose Naggar-Tremblay (QC)Zita Bombardier-Touret (QC)
Don JoseKoosha Korramian (Iran)Joel Edwards (USA)
EscamilloBranden Olsen (NB)
MicaelaLaura Nicole NielsenD'Arcy Blunston
Morales/DoncairoMarKo Hubert (QC)Mike Fan
FrasquitaCatherine Dupressoir (QC)Brittany Infranco (USA)
MercedesSarah Sharpe (NB)Mairi Demings (NS)
ZunigaColin Mackey (NL)
RemendadoTanis Gonzaga (USA)

Synopsis of Carmen

ACT I

Corporal Moralès and his men are resting outside the guardhouse as Micaëla comes looking for Don José. The change of guard arrives, among them Corporal José and Lieutenant Zuniga. Zuniga questions José about the nearby cigarette factory and the girls who work there. The cigarette girls leave the factory for a break, and the men await a glimpse of Carmen. When she appears, Carmen flirts with them and gives a flower to José. The girls then return to work and José is left alone. Micaëla returns and gives José a letter from his mother. She leaves when he begins to read the letter that advises him to marry Micaëla and settle down. Screams are heard from the cigarette factory, and Zuniga sends José to find out the cause of the disturbance. José returns with Carmen and another girl, Manuelita, whose face has a knife wound inflicted by Carmen. When Carmen refuses to speak, Zuniga orders José to tie her hands and take her to prison and leaves to make out the warrant for Carmenʼs arrest. Carmen hints to José about a rendezvous at her friend Lillas Pastiaʼs tavern, and José agrees to let her escape. When Zuniga returns with the warrant, Carmen breaks free as she is being led off to prison. José is arrested.

ACT II

Carmen and her Gypsy friends Frasquita and Mercédès sing and dance at Lillas Pastiaʼs tavern. At closing time the innkeeper begs the soldiers to leave. Zuniga tells Carmen that José has been released from prison. A torchlight procession announces the arrival of the torero, Escamillo. Escamillo acknowledges the soldiersʼ toast and describes the excitement of the bullfight. He is attracted to Carmen, who entices him. As the soldiers leave, Zuniga promises to return to see Carmen. Dancaïre and Remendado come to ask the three Gypsy girls to join them in a smuggling expedition. José arrives and gives Carmen the gold piece she sent him along with a file while he was in prison. He explains that his soldierʼs honor prevented him from trying to escape. Carmen dances for José, but when retreat sounds, he starts to leave for the barracks. She taunts him and challenges him to follow her to the mountains. When Zuniga returns, the two soldiers fight and are disarmed by the smugglers. José has no choice but to join the band of smugglers.

ACT III

The smugglers are at work in the mountains. Carmen has become fed up with Joséʼs jealousy. Frasquita and Mercédès read their own good fortune in the cards. When Carmen takes her turn, she only finds death. Dancaïre asks the girls to distract the customs men on duty. The girls agree and depart, leaving José on guard. Micaëla appears with a mountain guide looking for the Gypsies and runs off as Escamillo arrives. José challenges Escamillo to a duel, but Carmen intervenes as the smugglers re-enter and break up the fight. Escamillo invites the band of smugglers to his next bullfight. Micaëla is discovered hiding, and she tells José that his mother is dying. He leaves with her, but warns Carmen that they will meet again.

ACT IV

The crowd gathers outside the arena for the bullfight. When Carmen and Escamillo appear, Frasquita and Mercédès warn her that José is in the crown. Carmen waits alone outside the arena. José confronts her and begs that she return to him. She refuses and returns his ring. Realizing that Escamillo is her new lover, he kills her.

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