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Seattle Opera.

Carmen

May 4-19, 2019

"Three acts of exquisite earworms and engaging action"
- The Seattle Times

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.

Watch the preview

© Sunny Martini

Listen to the music

© Philip Newton

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

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Synopsis

ACT I

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 emerge 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 tempts 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.

ACT II

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. Rather than go back to prison, Don José agrees to join the smugglers.

ACT III

At the smuggler’s hideout, 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 bandits leave—the women will distract the customs guards while the men smuggle their contraband. Escamillo comes 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.

ACT IV

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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Cast

Ginger Costa-Jackson

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)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Carmen, Carmen ('19)
Recently: Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Opera de Toulon); Carmen, Carmen (New National Theatre Tokyo); Maddalena, Rigoletto (Los Angeles Opera)
Upcoming: Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (La Monnaie) Despina, Cosi fan Tutte, (Opéra de Paris); Musetta, La bohème (Seattle Opera)

Last Updated: August 2019

Ginger Costa-Jackson

Carmen

May 4, 8, 12, 17, & 19

Zanda Švēde

Carmen

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Carmen, Carmen

Hometown: Valmiera, Latvia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Carmen, Carmen (Oper Frankfurt); Xerxes, Xerxes (Oper Frankfurt); Dryade, Ariadne auf Naxos (Oper Frankfurt)
Upcoming: Radamisto, Zenobia (Oper Frankfurt); Carmen, Carmen (Pittsburgh Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

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: Cavaradossi, Tosca (North Carolina Opera); Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (San Diego Opera); Count Elemer, Arabella (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: Don José, Carmen (Pittsburgh Opera); Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Houston Grand Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

Scott Quinn

Don José

May 12

Adam Smith

Don José

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

Hometown: Cheshire, England
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Scottish Opera); Rodolfo, La bohème (Dorset Opera); The Indian Tenor, Sadko (Opera Vlaanderen)
Upcoming: Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (English National Opera); Don José, Carmen (Tulsa Opera); Hoffmann, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (TBA)

Last updated: April 2019

Adam Smith

Don José

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

Frederick Ballentine

Don José

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Charlie Parker, Charlie Parker's Yardbird

Seattle Opera Debut: Armored Man, The Magic Flute ('17)
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
Recently: Sportin' Life, Porgy and Bess (English National Opera); Steersman, The Flying Dutchman (Cincinnati Opera); Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Los Angeles Opera)
Upcoming: Sportin' Life, Porgy and Bess (Washington National Opera); Hoffmann, Tales of Hoffmann (Opera Louisiane); Judah, Castor and Patience (World Premiere at Cincinnati Opera)

Last updated: November 2019

Frederick Ballentine

Don José

May 4, 8, 17, & 19

Rodion Pogossov

Escamillo

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Escamillo, Carmen

Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Seattle Opera Debut: Raimbaud, Count Ory (’16)
Recently: Enrico, Lucia di Lammermoor (Oper Graz); Malatesta, Don Pasquale (La Monnaie, Brussels); Marcello, La bohème (Royal Opera House, London)
Upcoming: Papageno, The Magic Flute (Komische Oper at David H. Koch Theater); Marcello, La bohème (Bayerische Staatsoper); Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Minnesota Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

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: Mimì, La bohème and Giselda, I Lombardi (Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera); Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow (Korea National Opera)
Upcoming: Vitellia, La Clemenza di Tito (Gran Teatre del Liceau, Barcelona); Violetta, La traviata (Teatro de la Maestranza, Sevilla), Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow (Semperoper Dresden)

Last updated: April 2019

Vanessa Goikoetxea

Micaëla

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

Emily Dorn

Micaëla

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Micaëla, Carmen

Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Pamina, The Magic Flute (Semperoper Dresden); Mimì, La bohème (Opéra de Lausanne); Martha/Lady Harriet, Martha (Landestheater Detmold); Margarethe, Faust (Landestheater Detmold); Soprano Soloist, Mozart Mass in C Minor (RAI National Symphony Orchestra)
Upcoming: Violetta, La traviata (Vancouver Opera); Gretel, Hänsel und Gretel (Landestheater Detmold); Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (Landestheater Detmold)

Last updated: April 2019

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: Schaunard, La bohème (Lyric Opera Northwest); Masetto, Don Giovanni (Opera Idaho); Bass Soloist, Handel’s Messiah (Bremerton Symphony)
Upcoming:  Belcore, L’elisir d’amore (Tacoma Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

Ryan Bede

Moralès

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

Daniel Sumegi

Zuniga

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Zuniga, Carmen

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

Last updated: April 2019

Daniel Sumegi

Zuniga

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

Madison Leonard

Frasquita

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Seattle Opera Debut: Chrisann Brennan, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (’19)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Frasquita, Carmen ('19)
Recently: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Wolf Trap Opera); Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera); Morgana, Alcina (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Emmeline, Emmeline (Tulsa Opera); Gilda, Rigoletto (Austin Opera); Pamina, The Magic Flute (North Carolina Opera)

Last Updated: July 2019

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: Jenny, Threepenny Opera (West Edge Opera); Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Utah Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

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)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Ruiz, Il trovatore (’19)
Recently: Camille de Rosillon, The Merry Widow (Tacoma Opera); Tony, West Side Story (Symphony Tacoma); Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming: Alfredo, La traviata (Vashon Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

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 Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: War and Peace (’90)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Carmen ('19), Il trovatore (’19); The Ring (’00, ’13)
Recently: Assassins (ACT Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Paint Your Wagon (5th Avenue Theatre)

Last Updated: July 2019

Geoffrey Alm

Fight Director

John Keene

Chorusmaster

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Cinderella, Eugene Onegin, La bohème

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Chorusmaster, Fidelio (’12)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19), Carmen ('19), Rigoletto ('19)
Recently: Pianist, Three Singing Sisters (Seattle Opera); Chorusmaster, Cinderella (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorusmaster, Eugene Onegin, La bohème (Seattle Opera); Judge, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Last updated: November 2019

John Keene

Chorusmaster

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Simon James, Concertmaster
Jennifer Bai
Mariel Bailey
Kelly Farris
Timothy Garland
Caitlin Kelley
Leonid Keylin
Victoria Parker
Mikhail Shmidt, Asst. Concertmaster
Clark Story

Violin II
Gennady Filimonov, Principal
Brittany Breeden
Stephen Bryant
Linda Cole
Adrianna Hulscher
Andy Liang, Asst. Principal
Rachael Pearson
Joy Rhee

Viola
Timothy Hale, Principal
Allison Farkas
Sayaka Kokubo, Asst. Principal
Laura Renz
Daniel Stone
Julie Whitton

Cello
Meeka Quan Dilorenzo, Principal
Nathan Chan, Asst. Principal
Eric Han
Roberta Downey
Charles Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens

Bass
Joseph Kaufman, Principal
Sam Casseday
Brendan Fitzgerald, Asst. Principal
Jennifer Godfrey

Flute/Piccolo
Demarre McGill, Principal
Robin Peery

Oboe
Mary Lynch, Principal
Stefan Farkas

English Horn
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Benjamin Lulich, Principal
Laura DeLuca

Bassoon
Dana Bliss, Principal
Paul Rafanelli

Horn
Mark Robbins, Principal
Jenna Breen
John Turman
Jonathan Karschney

Cornet
Alexander White, Principal
Michael Myers

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Timpani
James Benoit, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal
Michael Clark
Matthew Decker

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Donna Baldwin
Carissa Castaldo
Jennifer Cross
Karen Early Evans
Melanie Hingson
Linda Mattos
Mary McLaughlin
lbidunni Ojikutu
Dana Johnson Robbins
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox
Shelly Traverse

Mezzo
Lorraine Burdick
Erica Convery
Laura Eichelberger
YeonSoo Lee
Cheryse McLeod Lewis
Gail Neil
Elizabeth Peterson
Allison Brooke Robertson
Susan Salas

Tenor
DuWayne Andrews
Nathan Barnes
Benjamin Cleveland
Joel Cummings
Andrew Etherington
Jon Farmer
Anthony James
Tim Janecke
Karl Reyes
Stephen Wall

Bass/Baritone
Michael Dunlap
Craig Garretson
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Tom Hingson
Ben Kramer
Dierre Lopez
Julian Reisenthel
Jonah Spool
Revere Taylor

Youth Chorus
Trinav Banerjee
Anderson Bull
Archibald El Naggar
Andy Gantner
Tristan Hagen
Kian Hammer
Ally Holmgren
Ivonne Huang
Judah Marshall
Gracie Cate Moffat
Evangeline OpongParry
Zachary Simons
Sebastian Weigel
Elise Xu

 

Dancers

Jennifer Mealani Jones, Dance Captain
Mark David Bloodgood
Alex Crozier
Jordan King

Actors

John Williams Lynch

Supernumeraries

Tony Barrick
Marco Lago
Dan Lathrop
Gary Lee
Tyrone Olds
Daniel "Monk" Romer
Bruce Schickler
Stephen Willey

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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Performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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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 © Philip Newton; © Sunny Martini; © Sunny Martini