Opéra comique in three actsText by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy after Prosper MériméeFirst performed in 1875.
Premiere on June 5, 2016In French with German and English surtitles.
Barrie Kosky's production of Carmen achieved cult status just a few weeks after its premiere in 2016 and has lost none of its irresistible power since. It takes the world's most performed repertory opera back to the roots of the opéra comique. The plot develops in brief interludes and heads toward an unusual conclusion. Along the way, lyrical moments collide with eerie revue scenes. Through unexpected breaks between the biting tone of the opéra bouffe and the tragedy, Kosky's interpretation explodes the usual Carmen clichés. His production drives the conflict between the life models of Carmen and Don José to extremes: it drives him, who tries to exceed his own limits in love, out of his mind and throws Don José off the track of life. His attempts to lure Carmen into the order he knows are doomed to failure. Bizet's music and Barrie Kosky's interpretation bring these extremes together. Varieté-like lightness and ecstasy meet immobile, frozen patterns of Don José and Micaëla