Washington National Opera: Carmen

  • Performing arts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Sat, September 19 —
    Sat, October 03, 2015
Washington National Opera: Carmen

Smoldering with sensuality and danger, this production of Bizet’s most famous opera pulses with erotic power –from Carmen’s rousing Habanera aria to the famous Toreador Song all culminating in a spectacular finale at a bullfight.

Carmen (1874)

  • Georges Bizet / Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy.
  • In French with projected English titles.
  • Production from Canadian Opera Company.

Bold, rebellious, mercurial –that’s the provocative gypsy Carmen. And to dutiful soldier Don José, she’s too much to handle… yet maddeningly irresistible. In a moment of unbridled passion, Don José ultimately surrenders to her seductive charms, forcing him to flee his village and abandon his childhood sweetheart for an outlaw’s life in the mountains. But once Carmen scorns his affections for a dashing matador, her fiery act of betrayal ignites a jealous rage, leading to shocking, murderous consequences.

This sizzling production of Bizet’s most famous opera shifts the classic story to a Latin American setting smoldering with sensuality and danger, using the original version of the score. The music pulses with erotic power –from Carmen’s rousing Habanera aria and uninhibited dancing in a smoky tavern to the famous Toreador Song– all culminating in a spectacular finale at a bullfight.

As the Vancouver Observer says, this staging of Carmen is full of lust, realism, a wild yet plausible plot, and characters that are impossible not to care about… a sure-fire hit!

Cast and creative team:

  • Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance. On Friday, October 2 at 7 pm.
  • Carmen: Clémentine Margaine (9/19, 9/21, 9/24, 9/26, 10/1, 10/3 mat); Géraldine Chauvet (9/20 mat, 9/25, 9/27 mat, 9/29, 10/3 eve); Sarah Mesko (10/2).
  • Don José: Bryan Hymel (9/19, 9/21, 9/24, 9/26); Rafael Davila (9/20 mat, 9/25, 9/27 mat, 9/29, 10/1, 10/3 mat); Michael Brandenburg‡ (10/2, 10/3 eve).
  • Escamillo: Michael Todd Simpson (9/19, 9/21, 9/24, 9/26, 10/1, 10/3 mat); Aleksey Bogdanov (9/20 mat, 9/25, 9/27 mat, 9/29, 10/2, 10/3 eve).
  • Micaëla: Janai Brugger (9/19, 9/21, 9/24, 9/26, 10/1, 10/3 mat), Jacqueline Echols± (9/20 mat, 9/25, 9/27 mat, 9/29, 10/3 eve), Raquel González (10/2).
  • Director: E. Loren Meeker.
  • Conductor: Evan Rogister.
  • Set Designer: Michael Yeargan.
  • Costume Designer: François St-Aubin.
  • Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel.
  • Choreographer: Sara Erde.

Free opera insights:

Musicologist Saul Lilienstein leads the Thursday, Sep. 24 Opera Insight, starting 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and lasting 35–40 minutes. All other Opera Insights start 1 hour before the performance and last 20–25 minutes. Informative and entertaining, Opera Insights take you inside the composer’s mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera. These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of Carmen.

Free artist Q&A following these performances:

  • Sunday matinee, September 20.
  • Monday evening, September 21.
  • Sunday matinee, September 27.

All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.


Venue map

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566


More information

Venue's website



Don't miss events like this one! Subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter to stay informed. Our subscribers also get exclusive access to select online content such as free screenings or concerts.

Sign up for our newsletter