Opera 2023 - 2024

Carmen

Georges Bizet

Duration

02H50

Language

French

Surtitles

FR • NL • EN • DE

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The story

“Carmen was created on the third day of the third month of the year. Three months later, on 3 June, Bizet died of an aneurysm
just as Madame Galli-Marié, singing for the thirty-third time in the year the ‘Trio des cartes’ in the third act, turned over the unforgiving card that always says: ‘Death! The fact that Carmen reached thirty-three performances in three months proves that the public reception had not been so bad.” Michel Tassard, Avant-Scène Opéra, 1980


FEMINITY
FREEDOM
UNMISSABLE
« PRENDS GARDE À TOI »


Libretto by Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halevy

Around 1820, in Seville and its surroundings, the young soldier Don Jose, a serious and calm man, is deeply troubled by the beautiful cigar maker Carmen, a sensual woman with a strong character, in love with freedom. Their tormented love turns into a terrible race to the abyss that ends when Don Jose, mad with jealousy, stabs the woman who no longer loves him…

The most performed opera in the world begins as a Spanish zarzuela and ends in a terrible tragedy. Georges Bizet, who died at the age of 36 before being able to measure the success of his Carmen, achieves an exceptional musical and vocal prowess that is a milestone in the history of opera. He offers us some of the most unforgettable pages of the French opera repertoire. With an omnipresent exoticism, an unprecedented dramatic force and a sharp sense of human psychology, Carmen is an absolute masterpiece. The great scene of the gypsies in which the cards predict death to the heroine is one of the peaks of a passionate, exuberant score inhabited by characters as true as they are endearing.

“L’amour est un oiseau rebelle”, “Pres des remparts de Seville”, “La fleur que tu m’avais jettée” … so many tunes so popular that we forget the icy reception of the audience at the premiere in 1875. Carmen was a departure from the usual genre of opera-comique, a genre that is often lighter, combining song and spoken dialogue. Was it the music or the realism of the subject that shocked? However, Carmen soon triumphed on the stages of the world.

  • LAST PERFORMANCE AT THE ORW
    JANUARY 2018
  • NEW PRODUCTION
    OPÉRA ROYAL DE WALLONIE-LIÈGE
  • WITH THE SUPPORT OF TAX SHELTER OF THE FEDERAL BELGIAN GOVERNMENT AND BEL ARTS FUND