Carmen is an opera of untamed passion. It is about freedom, love unconstrained by rules, burning lust, jealousy and fatalism. What’s more, upon closer inspection, the world’s most popular opera reveals new layers. Perhaps Carmen’s restlessness is fuelled by an innate need to belong somewhere – and to someone.
The passionate lead role will be interpreted by the award-winning, rising Swiss-born mezzo-soprano Ève-Maud Hubeaux, while the outstanding Amadi Lagha will be seen as Carmen’s lover Don José. In Turandot in summer 2018, the audience applauded Lagha with such rapture and persistence that he sang his aria not once but twice.
The production whisks the audience to the lively milieu of 1930s Spain. Bizet’s composition beats to a Sevillan rhythm, but with the light-hearted and sophisticated air of his native France. The young conductor Stephan Zilias is a rising talent from Germany. He has been awarded the Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, an honour reserved for the particularly successful in their career, including Sir Simon Rattle.