Austin Opera is thrilled to present Bizet’s Carmen to open Season 31!

This page provides a wide assortment of resources to support educators in sharing this opera with students.  We are especially excited to unveil our new ACCESS OPERA: Carmen curriculum, an innovative multi-media based unit, complete with TEKs aligned lessons, activities, assessments and beautiful Animated Listening Maps.  Click on the video sampler below!


First time teaching opera in your classroom?  Here is where to start!

Listen to this 6:00 minute “What’s an opera?” broadcast from Classics for Kids.
Jump right in to Carmen with our ACCESS OPERA: Carmen curriculum!

ACCESS OPERA: Carmen PDF Lesson Materials

This curriculum is designed so you can teach Carmen in the time frame that works best for you and your students.

  • Designate an entire class period (min. 45mins.) and share the complete Carmen
  • Teach three short lessons by dividing the Carmen PowerPoint into three 15 min. lessons (one for each musical selection – “Prelude”, “Habanera” and “Toreador Song”)
  • Extend your studies beyond the PowerPoint by using the PDF Lesson Materials and additional resources listed here on this webpage.

ACCESS OPERA: Carmen PDF materials include:


* Lesson Plans                                                                                   * Background info in English and Spanish

* Wall Posters                                                                                    * Notated Themes

* Checking for Understanding Questions                                    * Performance Activities (play-a-long and sing-a-long)

* Story Synopsis                                                                                 * Audience Etiquette Guide

* Composer Portrait                                                                          * Activity Pages

* SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Connections                       * Vocabulary


ACCESS OPERA: Carmen PowerPoint

A redemption code is required to open the ACCESS OPERA: Carmen PowerPoint.
Email to get your redemption code.


ACCESS OPERA: Carmen PowerPoint includes:

* Animated Listening Maps                                                            * Background Pages (in English and Spanish)

* Notated Themes with audio                                                         * Assessment: Checking for Understanding Questions

* Links to Live Performances and Alternate Version Performances




All About Austin Opera’s Production of Carmen

Here are links to the websites for the leading cast members of Austin Opera’s production of Carmen:

Carmen – Sandra Piques Eddy

Sandra Piques Eddy

Don José – Chad Shelton


Escamillo – Norman Garrett

Norman Garret Photo Credit Arielle Doneson

Michaela – Heather Phillips



Production Notes from Michael Cavanaugh
Stage Director Michael Cavanaugh shares some insights into this new production, set in 1970’s Spain.


The scenery and costumes for Austin Opera’s production of Carmen were constructed at the Minnesota Opera Shops and are jointly owned by Minnesota Opera and Austin Opera.  The following video excerpts give you a sneak peek at what you will see on the stage.

CARMEN: “Toreador” – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: “Habañera” – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: Act 1 Duet (Carmen, Don José) – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: Act 1 Duet (Don José, Micaëla) – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: Act 2 Quintet – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: Act 2 Finale – Minnesota Opera


CARMEN: Act 4 Final Duet (Carmen, Don José) – Minnesota Opera


All About Bizet

George Bizet

Learn about George Bizet (October 25, 1838 – June 3, 1875)
*appropriate for Elementary aged students

All About Bizet and Carmen
Interesting background info on Bizet and the first production of Carmen


More Video Resources

DENYCE GRAVES sings the “Habanera”
*Denyce Grave has become well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayal of Carmen.  This video is a wonderful concert performance of the aria.

Denyce Graves website

Video excerpt from Carmen: “Children’s Chorus” of San Jose Opera
*This children’s chorus is a classic and a fun one to sing!


Additional online Carmen resources


CARMEN CHEAT SHEET – Opera Australia
*This page includes some fun, basic facts about the opera, including this “quirky fact to impress your students:
“Carmen has inspired countless adaptations – including a 2001 movie called Carmen: the Hip Hopera, starring Beyoncé Knowles!”

Metropolitan Opera Guild – Carmen materials
*This teacher guide includes some great questioning strategies, student engagement activities and role play exercises to guide students in their study of opera and the story of Carmen.  It also does a good job of analyzing the music, identifying recurring motifs and important use of rhythm in Bizet’s score.

Learning Guide to CARMEN movie
*This learning guide has some very helpful background information about the history of the opera, the characters and bullfighting.  It also has some valuable discussion questions, including SEL (social and emotional learning) themes.  We will use clips from the Met 1989 movie version in our docent presentations.





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Sunday: open during scheduled performances

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