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Georges Bizet [1838 – 1875]

It is hardly surprising that audiences at the first performances of CARMEN were left somewhat perplexed by Georges Bizet’s new opera. Instead of the exotic backdrops and romantic love stories that the composer had served up in his “Les pêcheurs de perles” they were ambushed by a shocking tale that featured only shady, unpleasant characters.

Parkdeck der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Parkdeck der Deutschen Oper Berlin © Bernd Uhlig / Lilian Stathogiannopoulou

Soldiers and smugglers, factory girls and prostitutes, and an eponymous heroine who was radical in her rejection of all social norms and her insistence, even to the point of violence, on her right to sexual self-determination. Even more disturbing for audiences, however, might well have been the fact that a man of bourgeois stock becomes embroiled in a proletarian world of all things, a milieu in which the law of the jungle prevails.

Because, despite Bizet’s opera being named after the main female character, the work actually centres on the moral and psychological decline of Don José. His love for Carmen spirals into a lethal state of jealousy.

This 100-minute-long, semi-staged abridged version of the opera heightens the focus on the transformation undergone by Don José, which is continually reflected in his head-to-heads with Carmen. The opera starts with a conscientious soldier being led astray and progresses to his declaration of love and the famous “Flower Aria” in Act 2 before ending in arguments, disappointment, rejection and a despair bordering on madness.
Additional information
Participating artists
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin;person_category_orchestra;Orchester|Orchestra
Byung Gil Kim;person_category_singer;Zuniga|Zuniga
Dean Murphy;person_category_singer;Dancairo|Dancairo
Kieran Carrel;person_category_singer;Remendado|Remendado
Joel Allison;person_category_singer;Escamillo|Escamillo
Matthew Newlin;person_category_singer;Don José|Don José
Maria Motolygina;person_category_singer;Micaëla|Micaëla
N. N.;person_category_singer;Mercédès|Mercédès
N. N.;person_category_singer;Frasquita|Frasquita
Maire Therese Carmack;person_category_singer;Carmen|Carmen
Markus Brück;person_category_moderator;Moderation|Speaker
Silke Sense;person_category_stage_direction;Szenische Einrichtung|Scenic arrangement
Dominic Limburg;person_category_conductor;Musikalische Leitung|Conductor
Deutsche Oper Berlin - Tischlerei
Deutsche Oper Berlin - Tischlerei
Deutsche Oper Berlin - Tischlerei