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10 July 2022 (Sun), 19:00 Brilliant Classical Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1887, founded by Stanislavsky) - Opera Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 acts)

Running time: 3 hours 30 minutes (till 22:30)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 acts) 2022

Composer: Georges Bizet
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Costume Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Music Director: Wolf Gorelik
Director: Alexander Titel
Conductor: Eugeny Brazhnik
Light Designer: Ildar Bederdinov

Orchestra: Stanislavsky theatre symphony orchestra
Opera company: Stanislavsky opera

Opera in 4 acts

Performed in French with synchronised Russian supertitles

Premiere of this production: 7 May 1999, Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre, Moscow

“Carmen” is one of the most popular and beloved operas.



In a square in Seville, townspeople and soldiers relax in the summer sun. Micaela arrives in search of her sweetheart, Don Jose, a corporal. A fellow officer, Morales, tells her Jose will be there later, then offers himself as a substitute, but she leaves hastily. As the guard changes, children parade, imitating the soldiers ("Avec la garde montante"), whose number now includes Jose. At the sound of the noon bell, girls from the cigarette factory come to smoke and chat ("Dans l’air"). Carmen, a Gypsy who works in the factory, flirts with the local men, airing her philosophy of life: love is a wild bird that cannot be tamed (Habanera: "L’amour est un oiseau rebelle"). Sullen and distracted, Jose sits apart. Drawn by his indifference, Carmen tosses him a flower from her bodice as the work bell calls the girls back inside. Micaela returns to give Jose news of his mother, who has sent him a kiss, which the girl delivers shyly ("Parle-moi de ma mиre"). No sooner has she left than a disturbance is heard in the factory: Carmen is involved in a fight. The girls run out, arguing over who started it. Lt. Zuniga orders Jose to arrest Carmen, but she resists their questions with brazen nonchalance. Her wrists bound, she is left alone with Jose, who forbids her to speak to him. Instead, she flirts with him by singing "to herself" about Lillas Pastia’s inn and the rendezvous she might make with "a certain officer" who has taken her fancy (Seguidilla: "Prиs des remparts de Sйville"). Jose, intoxicated, agrees to let her escape in exchange for the promised rendezvous; when she pushes him to the ground and runs off, he is arrested for his negligence.


A month later, at Lillas Pastia’s, Carmen regales the customers with a Gypsy song ("Les tringles des sistres tintaient"). The matador Escamillo arrives, boasting of his exploits in the arena ("Votre toast"). He is immediately attracted to Carmen, who puts off his amorous advances. When the inn closes, Dancaire and Remendado try to convince Frasquita, Mercйdиs and Carmen to accompany them on their next smuggling trip. The girls are game, except for Carmen, who says she is in love with Jose and is awaiting his return from prison (quintet: "Nous avons en tete"). The others laugh at her, then depart as Jose is heard approaching. Carmen sings and dances for him, but when a distant bugle sounds the retreat, he says he must return to the barracks. Carmen angrily mocks him, saying he doesn’t love her, and he replies by telling her how he has kept the flower she threw, the scent of its wilted blossom conjuring up her image in his prison cell ("La fleur que tu m’avais jetйe"). He refuses her suggestion that he join her wild mountain life, but when Zuniga breaks in, looking for Carmen, Jose loses his temper and attacks his superior. Carmen summons the other Gypsies, who throw the lieutenant out. Jose, now an outlaw, has no choice but to join their band.


In their mountain hideout, the smugglers congratulate themselves on their successful trade, but Jose is unhappy. Carmen finds his homesickness tiresome and occupies herself with her friends, reading fortunes in the cards. Frasquita foresees a lover for herself, Mercйdиs a rich husband, but Carmen sees only death ("En vain pour eviter"). The Gypsies leave Jose as lookout, and Micaela enters, frightened but determined to find him ("Je dis que rien ne m’epouvante"). She hides at the sound of a shot, fired by Jose as a warning to Escamillo, who has come looking for Carmen. The two men start to fight but are separated by the Gypsies. Escamillo invites them all to his next bullfight and leaves. Remendado discovers Micaela, who has come to beg Jose to return home to his ailing mother. Carmen dismisses him willingly, but Jose, convinced she wants to be rid of him in order to take up with Escamillo, vows to find her again after he has seen his mother.


In Seville’s Plaza de Toros, the crowd gathers for the bullfight, hailing Escamillo. He and Carmen declare their love, and he enters the ring. Carmen’s friends warn that Jose has been spotted nearby, looking desperate, but she is a fatalist and defiantly remains in the square to face him. He enters ("C’est toi?") and begs her to return to him, saying there is still time for them to start again. She replies that everything is finished between them, tossing his ring in his face as the crowd is heard cheering the triumphant Escamillo. When Carmen tries to run past Jose into the arena, he stabs her, then falls by her body in despair.

Additional information

  • Characters and performers

    Schedule for Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 acts) 2022

    Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 acts)
    About This Video
    The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, Moscow, Russia
    "Carmen" (Opera in 4 acts)

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