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The Stars of the White Nights 2018
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06 April 2017 (Thu), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - Mariinsky II (New Theatre) - Stars of the Stars  Opera Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 Acts)

Running time: 3 hours 30 minutes (till 22:30)

The performance has 1 intermission

Schedule for Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 Acts) 2017/2018

Conductor: Pavel Smelkov
Mezzo soprano: Anna Kiknadze

Composer: Georges Bizet
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Musical Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
Lighting Designer: Gleb Filshtinsky
Musical Preparation: Irina Soboleva
Set Designer: Igor Grinevich
Stage Director: Alexei Stepanyuk
Lighting Designer: Kamil Kutyev
Principal Chorus Master: Dmitry Ralko
Choreography: Galina Kaloshina
Conductor: Dmitry Ralko
Piano: Irina Soboleva
Stage Director: Ilya Ustyantsev
Lighting Designer: Alexander Sivaev

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Opera company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera

Opera in 4 act

Performed in French with synchronised Russian supertitles

World premiere: 3 March 1875, Opera-Comique, Paris
Premiere in Russia: 30 April 2005 Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 13 March 2016, World famous Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet and Opera - Mariinsky II (New Theatre)

Carmen is the most popular work from French composer Georges Bizet. For this, his 17th and last opera, Bizet took inspiration from the popular novella by Prosper Mérimée, which had enticed French readers with exotic tales of Spain. Its heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage and the opera was a critical failure on its premiere in 1875. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success Carmen would achieve. Popular around the world, the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.

Libretto: Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy revised by Ernest Guiraud after the novel by Prosper Merimee
Production: Stanislav Gaudasinsky


First performance in Russia: 16 February 1878, the Italian Opera Company, Bolshoi (Stone) Theatre, St Petersburg
First performance at the Mariinsky Theatre: 30 September 1885, St Petersburg




A square in Seville
In the guard house, Moralčs and his soldiers are discussing the passers-by. Micaëla arrives, looking for the corporal Don Jose. Moralčs explains that Jose is in another company that is due to take over the guard. Micaëla decides not to wait and departs. The officer Zuņiga and Jose lead in the new guard, accompanied by a horde of children. Moralčs tells Jose that Micaëla was asking for him. Zuņiga, leader of the new guard, asks Jose about the women who work in the factory nearby, but Jose says he pays them no attention.
It is break-time at the factory and the women come out to smoke and flirt with the young men who have been waiting for them. Carmen is at the centre of everyone´s attention. She talks of love (L´amour est un oiseau rebelle), that it is elusive and inconstant and that she will only love a man she herself chooses even if he does not love her in return. The bell rings, signalling the break is over. Carmen, desirous of catching Jose´s attention, throws him a flower. Enraptured, he quickly hides it.
Micaëla returns, bringing Jose a letter from his mother in which she asks him to return to marry Micaëla.
Uproar suddenly breaks out in the factory and the women pour into the square, accusing Carmen of drawing a knife on her friend in a quarrel. Jose is sent to question Carmen, but she refuses to answer. Zuņiga orders Jose to take her to prison. Carmen starts to captivate Jose and tries to persuade him to release her. Forbidden to speak, she sings, contriving to arrange a rendezvous with him at Lillas Pastia´s tavern. He agrees to free her only if she will love him. She promises to do so, Jose frees her and is subsequently himself arrested.


Lillas Pastia´s tavern
Carmen, Frasquita and Mercedes are entertaining gypsies and soldiers. Zuņiga tells Carmen that Jose, demoted and jailed for a month for aiding her escape, has just been released.
A crowd is heard outside acclaiming the victorious toreador Escamillo, who enters followed by a throng of admirers. He returns Zuņiga´s toast, drinking to his health, and describes the exhilaration of fighting a bull. Carmen immediately captures his attention but she shows no interest. Everyone leaves.
The smugglers Remendado and Dancaīro arrive; they are about to depart and ask Carmen, Frasquita and Mercedes to help them carry their wares. Carmen refuses: she is in love and waiting for Jose. Mockingly, the smugglers suggest Jose joins their band.
Don Jose arrives. Carmen dances for him. When a signal is heard in the distance, summoning him back to his barracks he prepares to leave. Furious, Carmen accuses him of not loving her. In response he describes his passion and how, while in prison, he treasured the flower she threw at him when they first met. As proof, Carmen insists he deserts and goes with her to the mountains. Zuņiga unexpectedly appears; he has come to meet Carmen. When he sees Jose he orders him back to the barracks. Zuņiga and Jose fight over Carmen. The smugglers run in and separate them; then they tie up Zuņiga and Dancaīro shoots him. Having refused to obey orders, Jose realises he has no choice other than to join the smugglers.


In the mountains
The exhausted smugglers are examining their goods. They have stopped for a short rest. Carmen and Jose are there too. Carmen senses that Jose would be prepared to kill her if she left him.
Frasquita and Mercedes read their fortunes with cards. They see a prosperous future. Carmen joins them. But however much she shuffles the cards, only death is foretold.
Dancaīro and Remendado return. The gypsy women leave, having been instructed to distract the customs officers who are blocking the smugglers´ path. Jose is left to guard the contraband goods.
Having overcome her fear, Micaëla arrives. She is looking for Jose. A shot frightens her and she hides. It was Jose firing at an intruder – Escamillo. The toreador explains that he is pursuing Carmen, having heard that she no longer loves her soldier. The enraged Jose reveals himself and the rivals start to fight. Carmen stops them. Escamillo thanks her and invites everyone to his next bullfight in Seville and leaves. Crazed with jealousy, Jose threatens Carmen.
The smugglers find Micaëla in her hiding place. She has come to beg Jose to return to his mother. Carmen urges him to go. Micaëla then reveals that Jose´s mother is dying and wants to forgive him. He agrees to accompany Micaëla. Escamillo can be heard in the distance.


Outside a bull-ring in Seville
A crowd has gathered outside the bull-ring prior to the bullfight. As they arrive, the participants of the corrida receive a rapturous reception. Escamillo appears, with Carmen in his wake. Frasquita and Mercedes warn Carmen that Jose is following her, hidden in the crowd. However, she decides to wait and talk to him. All depart to watch the bullfight. Jose appears and pleads with her to return to him. She remains unyielding. She showers him with insults, provoking him. The crowd ecstatically greets Escamillo. Her rapture over the toreador makes Carmen betray her new love. She throws the ring Jose gave her in his face and heads towards the arena. Mad from suffering and humiliation he plunges a dagger into her.
The crowd rejoice at the toreador´s victory

Schedule for Georges Bizet "Carmen" (Opera in 4 Acts) 2017/2018

Extract from the opera Georges Bizet "Carmen"
About This Video
Extract from the opera Georges Bizet "Carmen"
Mariinsky theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia

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