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Seattle Opera.

Carmen

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May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19, 2019

Impressive. Iconic. Irresistible.

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Overview

By Georges Bizet

Bizet’s thrilling story of deadly obsession seduces with an amazing array of instantly recognizable melodies and masterful arias beloved across the globe. An ordinary soldier becomes mesmerized by a beguiling factory girl with a plan. Will either of them foresee the tragic ending of their high-stakes game? Don’t miss this grand new production featuring lavish scenery, traditional costumes, and some of the most famous classical music ever written.

Renowned British director Paul Curran has garnered high praise on both sides of the Atlantic. He teams with frequent collaborator Gary McCann to create a grand theatrical arena (three different sets!) inhabited by a multitude of beautifully dressed factory girls, townsfolk, smugglers, soldiers, and toreadors.

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© Steven Pisano

Listen to the music

© Steven Pisano

In French with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance time: 3 hours and 30 minutes, including 2 intermissions.


Pricing & Availability

As of 03/25/19

  • Best pricing on Wednesday performances May 8 and May 15.
  • Celebrate Mother’s Day at the opera! Special $20 youth pricing available for Sunday, May 12 matinee. Learn more
  • Best availability: Sunday, May 19

 

This opera contains some mature themes.   Read content advisories

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Synopsis

In a square in Seville, officers on guard-duty near a cigarette factory pass the time people- watching. Micaëla, a girl from the country, approaches them, asking for Don José. They tell her he will be there soon. A bell rings, the women working in the factory come back from their afternoon break, and the men all ask for Carmen. When she finally appears, they ask when she will love them; but she believes her love is unpredictable. Since Don José is doing his best to ignore her, Carmen bewitches him, tossing a flower at him.

When the cigarette girls have gone into the factory, Micaëla approaches Don José with a kiss and a letter from his mother. In the letter José’s mother encourages him to marry Micaëla. But a hubbub bursts out in the cigarette factory: Carmen has gotten into a fight with a colleague. Zuniga arrests Carmen and assigns Don José to guard her. Carmen seduces Don José, who lets her escape. José is hauled off to prison.

At a tavern a month later, Carmen, Frasquita, and Mercédès dance while Zuniga and some officers look on. Zuniga tells Carmen that Don José has served his time in prison and was released that very day. Escamillo arrives with a crowd of admirers and impresses everyone except Carmen. After he leaves, Carmen and her friends plan a smuggling operation with Dancaïre and Remendado. The men want Carmen to accompany them, but she refuses, saying that she is in love.

Don José arrives and declares his love for Carmen. She begins dancing for him, but he stops her when a bugle summons him back to the barracks. When he declares he must go, she mocks his sense of duty. Hurt, he shows Carmen that he still has the flower she tossed at him. She asks him to run away with her. Zuniga returns, hoping to find Carmen alone, and he and José draw swords; Dancaïre and Remendado separate them. Now a mutineer, Don José agrees to go with the gypsies to the mountains.

At the gypsy camp in the mountains, Don José and Carmen quarrel. Carmen is done with him, but he is unwilling to leave her. Mercédès, Frasquita, and Carmen foretell their futures in the cards; the first two find love and wealth, but Carmen sees only death. The gypsies leave—the women will distract the customs guards while the men smuggle their contraband over the border. Escamillo comes to the camp looking for Carmen. He fights with Don José, but Carmen intercedes. Micaëla appears and implores Don José to return to his mother, who is dying. Carmen tells him to go, but Don José warns her they are not yet through.

Outside the bullring in Seville, Carmen and Escamillo profess their love for each other. Frasquita cautions Carmen that Don José is waiting for her. Carmen says she is not afraid and goes to confront him. He begs her to leave with him, but she refuses. She throws a ring José gave her at his feet, and he stabs her.

Read More

Dig Deeper: Carmen

What are the most famous tunes from Carmen? Why did it cause such a scandal when it premiered? And how does Bizet capture the tension of Carmen’s role in his music?

 

Read the Spotlight Guide

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Ways to Save

Seattle Opera believes in opera for all. There are many ways to attend for less, including $25 tickets for every performance; up to 25% off with season ticket packages; special pricing for patrons age 21-39; and student, senior, military, teen, and group discounts.

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Pricing & Availability

  • Best pricing on Wednesday performances May 8 and May 15.
  • Celebrate Mother’s Day at the opera! Special $20 youth pricing available for Sunday, May 12 matinee. Learn more
  • Best availability: Sunday, May 19

As of 03/19/19

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Cast

Ginger Costa-Jackson

Carmen

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen, Carmen
At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Cinderella, Cinderella, Musetta, La bohème, and Three Singing Sisters

Hometown: Palermo, Sicily
Seattle Opera Debut: Dorabella, Così fan tutte (’18)
Recently: Rosina, Le Barbier de Seville (Opera de Toulon); Carmen, Carmen (New National Theatre Tokyo); Maddalena, Rigoletto (Los Angeles Opera)
Upcoming: Carmen, Carmen (San Diego Opera); Carmen, Carmen (Seattle Opera); Helen, La Belle Helene (Odyssey Opera, Boston)

Last Updated: December 2018

 

Ginger Costa-Jackson

Carmen

May 4, 8, 12, 17, & 19

Zanda Švēde

Carmen

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen, Carmen

Hometown: Riga, Latvia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Maddalena, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Grimgerde, Die Walküre (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Madalenna, Rigoletto (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: Carmen, Carmen (Atlanta Opera); Madalenna, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera Kansas City); Orlovksy, Die Fledermaus (Des Moines Metro Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Zanda Švēde

Carmen

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 15, & 18

Scott Quinn

Don José

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Don José, Carmen

Hometown: Marshall, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Boris, Katya Kabanova (’17)
Recently: Elemer, Arabella (San Francisco Opera); Alfredo, La traviata (Austin Opera); Rodolfo, La bohème (Utah Opera and Minnesota Opera);  
Upcoming: Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Kansas)

Last updated: February 2018

Scott Quinn

Don José

May 4, 8, 12, 17, & 19

Adam Smith

Don José

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Don José, Carmen

Hometown: Cheshire, England
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Indian Guest, Sadko; Tamino, The Magic Flute; and Steersman, The Flying Dutchman (Opera Vlaanderen)

Last updated: December 2017

 

Adam Smith

Don José

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 15, & 18

Rodion Pogossov

Escamillo

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Escamillo, Carmen

Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Seattle Opera Debut: Raimbaud, Count Ory (’16)
Recently: Di Luna, Il trovatore (Graz Opera); Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Klagenfurt Opera); Papageno, The Magic Flute (Cincinnati Opera)
Upcoming: Schaunard, La bohème (Royal Opera, Covent Garden); Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Malatesta, Don Pasquale (La monnaie Brussels)

Last updated: December 2017

Rodion Pogossov

Escamillo

May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Vanessa Goikoetxea

Micaëla

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Micaëla, Carmen

Hometown: Durango (Bizkaia), Spain
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow (Gran Teatre del Liceu and Staatsoper Dresden)
Upcoming: Sylva Varescu, The Csardas Princess (Staatsoper Dresden); Soprano soloist, Concert (Münchner Rundfunkorchester) 

Last updated: December 2017

 

Vanessa Goikoetxea

Micaëla

Seattle Opera Debut
May 4, 8, 12, 17, & 19

Emily Dorn

Micaëla

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Micaëla, Carmen

Hometown: Canada
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Ascagne, Les troyens; Pamina, The Magic Flute; and Musetta, La bohème (Dresden Semperoper)
Upcoming: Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro, and Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Dresden Semperoper)

Last updated: December 2017

Emily Dorn

Micaëla

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 15, & 18

Ryan Bede

Moralès

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Moralès, Carmen

Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Second Priest, The Magic Flute (’17)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Fiorello, The Barber of Seville (’17); Jim Crowley, An American Dream (’17); Prince Yamadori, Madame Butterfly (’17)
Recently: Moralès/Le Dancaïre, Carmen (Tacoma Opera); Papageno, The Magic Flute (Opera Idaho); Bass soloist, Mozart Requiem (Sofia, Bulgaria)
Upcoming:  Baritone soloist, Duruflé’s Requiem and Ravel’s Don Quichotte a Dulcinée (Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo); Soloist, Mozart Masterworks concert (Everett Philharmonic)

Last updated: February 2018

Ryan Bede

Moralès

May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Daniel Sumegi

Zuniga

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: The Bonze, Madame Butterfly; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict; Ramfis, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Zuniga, Carmen

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict (’18); Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville (’17); Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Fafner/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13)
Recently: Fasolt/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia)
Upcoming:  Pogner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia); Jokanaan, Salome (Israeli Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Malmö Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

Daniel Sumegi

Zuniga

May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Madison Leonard

Frasquita

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Chrisann, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Frasquita, Carmen
At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Recently: Juliette, Romeo et Juliette (Wolf Trap Opera); Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera), Zegner Sister 1, Proving Up (Washington National Opera)

Last Updated: December 2018

Madison Leonard

Frasquita

May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Sarah Coit

Mercédès

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Mercédès, Carmen

Hometown: Spring Hill, FL
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Zerlina, Don Giovanni (Utah Opera); Alisa, Lucia di Lammermoor (Santa Fe Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Michigan Opera Theatre)
Upcoming: Adonis, Permadeath (White Snake Projects)

Last updated: December 2017

 

Sarah Coit

Mercédès

Seattle Opera Debut
May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

John Marzano

Le Remendado

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Ruiz, Il trovatore; and Le Remendado, Carmen

Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Giuseppe, La traviata (’17)
Recently: Camille de Rosillon, The Merry Widow (Tacoma Opera); Tony, West Side Story (Symphony Tacoma); Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming: Le Remendado, Carmen (Seattle Opera); Soloist, Summer Recital Series (Seattle Art Song Society)

Last updated: October 2018

John Marzano

Le Remendado

May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Mark Diamond

El Dancairo

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Dancairo, Carmen

Hometown: Augusta, GA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: 
Count Carlo-Magnus, A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera); Papageno, The Magic Flute (Aspen Music Festival); Maximilian, Candide (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)

Last updated: March 2019

Mark Diamond

El Dancairo

Seattle Opera Debut
May 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, & 19

Cast

Creative Team

Giacomo Sagripanti

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen

Hometown: Giulianova, Italy
Seattle Opera DebutLa Cenerentola (’13)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Barber of Seville (’17); Count Ory (’16)
Recently: Il trovatore (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen); Il viaggio a Reims (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Don Pasquale (Glyndebourne Festival)
Upcoming: Il trovatore and Il viaggio a Reims (Deutsche Oper Berlin); La favorite (Bayerische Staasoper)

Last updated: December 2017

Giacomo Sagripanti

Conductor

Paul Curran

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen

Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland

Seattle Opera Debut

Recently: Tosca (Mariinsky Theatre); Samson and Delilah (Virginia Opera); The Golden Cockerel (Santa Fe Opera)

Upcoming: My Fair Lady (Teatro di San Carlo); Carmen (Opera Philadelphia)

 

Last updated: December 2017

 

Paul Curran

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Seth Hoff

Associate Director & Choreographer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Associate Director/Choreographer, Carmen

Hometown: Madison, WI
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera Philadelphia); Sweeney Todd (Atlanta Opera)
Upcoming: The Barber of Seville (Portland Opera); The Love for Three Oranges (Opera Philadelphia)

Last updated: March 2019

Seth Hoff

Associate Director & Choreographer

Seattle Opera Debut

Gary McCann

Production Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen

Hometown: CountyArmagh, Northern Ireland
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The Golden Cockerel (Santa Fe Opera); Macbeth (Wiener Staatsoper); La traviata (Opera Nationala Bucuresti)
Upcoming: My Fair Lady (Teatro di San Carlo); La clemenza di Tito (Opera de Lausanne); Carmen (Opera Philadelphia)

Last updated: December 2017

Gary McCann

Production Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Paul Hackenmueller

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Tosca (Boston Lyric Opera); The Golden Cockerel (Santa Fe Opera); Macbeth (Opera San Antonio)
Upcoming: Carmen (Opera Philadelphia); A Walk on the Moon (American Conservatory Theater)

Last updated: December 2017

 

Paul Hackenmueller

Lighting Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Geoffrey Alm

Fight Choreographer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen

Geoffrey Alm is a Fight Master with The Society of American Fight Directors and has taught around the world. He has worked at numerous theaters including Intiman, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, ACT,  Arizona Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, as well as the Cincinnati Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and The Santa Cruz Shakespeare Company. He was the fight director at Seattle Opera in the 2016/17 season for La traviata and Hansel and Gretel, and he has worked on Seattle Opera’s Ring productions since 2000.

Last Updated: February 2019

Geoffrey Alm

Fight Choreographer

John Keene

Chorusmaster

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Il trovatore, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Carmen
At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Cinderella, Eugene Onegin, La bohème

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Chorusmaster, Fidelio (’12)
Recently: Conductor, As One (Seattle Opera); Porgy and Bess, Chorusmaster Aida (Seattle Opera); Assistant Conductor, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorusmaster, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Carmen (Seattle Opera); Judge, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Last updated: December 2018

John Keene

Chorusmaster

Creative Team

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Sponsors

2018/19 Season Sponsor

Lenore M. Hanauer

Production Sponsor

Barbara Stephanus
Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle
Jay and Susanne Wakefield

 

Main Photo © Philip Newton | Photos Carmen, Opera Philadelphia, 2018 © Steven Pisano