Now probably the most popular opera in the world, Carmen scandalised its earliest audiences with its raw depiction of lust among the low-lifes of 19th-century Seville. In rejecting the opera’s traditional touristic trappings and presenting it instead as a full-on battle of the sexes, fought out in the near-mythic arena of a symbolic Spanish bullring, Calixto Bieito’s hugely popular production (already seen and enjoyed by audiences across Europe and South America) is arguably truer to the spirit of Bizet’s original conception than most more conventional stagings you’ll ever see.
Vibrant Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose makes her ENO debut as the gypsy temptress, with tenor Adam Diegel as Don José, a role he has sung to acclaim many times in the USA, and British baritone Leigh Melrose, a ‘superbly sung’ (The Observer) Tadeusz in 2011’s The Passenger, as Escamillo, the matador. Rising star soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn – named as ‘Best Newcomer’ by The Daily Telegraph following her 2010 ENO debut as Mimì in La bohème and fresh from her stunning success as the Countess in last season’s new Marriage of Figaro – sings the ‘good girl’, Micaëla. Brilliant young conductor and ENO Composer in Residence Ryan Wigglesworth, follows his ENO debut in Glanert’s Caligula.
Nov 21*, 23, 27*, 30 & Dec 4, 6 at 7pm , Dec 2, 9 at 3pm
8 performances. Running time: 2hrs 50mins
Signed-performance, Tue Dec 4
Pre-performance talk , Fri Nov 23, 5 – 5.45pm, £5/£2.50 concs
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