Now probably the most popular opera in the world, Carmen scandalised its earliest audiences with its raw depiction of lust among the low-lifes of 19th-century Seville.
This new English National Opera production at the London Coliseum rejects Carmen's traditional touristic trappings and presenting it instead as a full-on battle of the sexes, fought out in the near-mythic arena of a symbolic Spanish bullring, Calixto Bieito’s hugely popular production (already seen and enjoyed by audiences across Europe and South America) is arguably truer to the spirit of Bizet’s original conception than most more conventional stagings you’ll ever see.
‘intelligent, fascinating music theatre and well worth seeing’ The Guardian
‘a coherence and dramatic integrity that has never been seen in Carmen before’ Whatsonstage.com
‘a production ENO can be proud of’ Metro
The Carmen cast is led by vibrant Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose makes her ENO debut in the title role with tenor Adam Diegel as Don José, a role he has sung to acclaim many times in the USA, and British baritone Leigh Melrose, a ‘superbly sung’ (The Observer) Tadeusz in 2011’s The Passenger, as Escamillo, the matador. Rising star soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn – named as ‘Best Newcomer’ by The Daily Telegraph following her 2010 ENO debut as Mimì in La bohème and fresh from her stunning success as the Countess in last season’s new Marriage of Figaro – sings the ‘good girl’, Micaëla.
Carmen is conducted by brilliant young conductor and ENO Composer in Residence Ryan Wigglesworth, follows his ENO debut in Glanert’s Caligula.