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Since its premiere in Paris in 1875, Carmen, by Georges Bizet, is one of the most performed operas in history. It has attained mythical status and has been a source of inspiration for great artists of other disciplines: painting, dance, cinema... The Teatro Real programmes it this season with Marc Piollet conducting, with the stage production by Calixto Bieito.

In his Carmen, the Spanish director unveils a story of violence and marginalization, irrepressible sensuality, a battle of the sexes, where the real protagonist is, in fact, domestic violence. Bieito locates the story in Melilla during the 70’s; with a minimalist stage that reveals the most marginal sides of the city. Anna Goryachova, Stéphanied’Oustrac and Gaëlle Arquez will share the voice of Carmen in 18 performances.


Opéra comique in four acts

Music by Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, after the play of the same name (1845) by Prosper Mérimée
Premiered at the Opéra-Comique de Paris on 3 March 1875
Premiered at the Teatro Real on 14 March 1888

Production by the Opéra national de Paris

Principal Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real

(Coro Intermezzo / Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid)
Pequeños Cantores de la ORCAM

Starting Point

Carmen, a story of violence and marginalization, of menacing boundaries and conflicting ethnicities: this describes the production of Carmen, set during the 70's, a militarized world in continuous transformation. As such, it has very little to do with any of the conventional staging which emphasizes an Andalusian and flamenco atmosphere.

By removing stereotypical clichés, Calixto Bieito gives importance to the passions which move across a minimalist stage that represents a sordid, atavistic, male chauvinist Spain. Here, the cigarette factory is relegated to the side lines of a military barracks in a borderland of what could be Ceuta and Morocco. The Spanish flag flies high in the African territory, a perfect symbol of the desire to impose, although it is not exactly too clear what that imposition may be. The universe of this Carmen is one of shady deals, testosterone, and tourism basking in the sun at the beach. The production was originally conceived for the Festival de Peralada, it was reprised at the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona and then at the Opéra national de Paris. It is this last version which comes to the stage of the Teatro Real. 

Approximate running time

3 hours

Acts I and II: 90 minutes
Intermission: 25 minutes
Acts III and IV: 60 minutes

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Marc Piollet
  • Stage director: Calixto Bieito
  • Revival stage director: Yves Lenoir
  • Set designer: Alfons Flores
  • Costume designer: Mercè Paloma
  • Lighting designer: Alberto Rodríguez Vega
  • Chorus Master: Andrés Máspero
  • Children's Chorus Conductor: Ana González
· - ·
  • Zuñiga: Jean Teitgen
  • Moralès: Isaac Galán
  • Don José: Francesco Meli (Oct. 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 27 · Nov. 10, 14)
    Andrea Carè (Oct. 12, 15, 19, 22, 25, 28 · Nov. 3)
    Leonardo Caimi (Oct. 30 · Nov. 4, 17)
  • Escamillo: Kyle Ketelsen (Oct. 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Nov. 3, 4, 10, 14, 17)
    Vito Priante (Oct. 12, 15, 19, 22)
    César San Martín (Oct. 25, 28)
  • Le Dancaïre: Borja Quiza
  • Le Remendado: Mikeldi Atxalandabaso
  • Frasquita: Olivia Doray
  • Mercédès: Lidia Vinyes Curtis
  • Carmen: Anna Goryachova (Oct. 11, 14, 18, 24 · Nov. 10, 14, 17)
    Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Oct. 12, 19, 22, 25, 28 · Nov. 3)
    Gaëlle Arquez (Oct. 15, 21, 27, 30 · Nov. 4)
  • Micaëla: Eleonora Buratto (Oct. 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Nov. 4)
    Olga Busuioc (Oct. 12, 15, 19, 22, 25, 28 · Nov. 3, 10, 14, 17)

Performance Dates

  • 11 OCT (W) 20:00h
  • 12 OCT (T) 20:00h
  • 14 OCT (S) 20:00h
  • 15 OCT (S) 18:00h
  • 18 OCT (W) 20:00h
    Turn X
  • 19 OCT (T) 20:00h
    Turn F
  • 21 OCT (S) 20:00h
    Separately from season tickets
  • 22 OCT (S) 18:00h
    Abono Selección II
  • 24 OCT (T) 20:00h
    Turn B
  • 25 OCT (W) 20:00h
    Turn A
  • 27 OCT (F) 20:00h
    Turn H
  • 28 OCT (S) 20:00h
    Separately from season tickets
  • 30 OCT (M) 20:00h
    Turn Z
  • 3 NOV (F) 20:00h
    Turn D
  • 4 NOV (S) 20:00h
    Abono Selección I
  • 10 NOV (F) 20:00h
    Separately from season tickets
  • 14 NOV (T) 20:00h
    Turn C
  • 17 NOV (F) 20:00h
    Turn V
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Programme of show

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