Runtime (3 hours and 5 minutes)


Arguably the sexiest role in opera, Carmen is a beautiful, free-spirited woman all too aware of her carnal allure, and yet, she despises any man who falls for her. When her mild flirtation with a soldier, Don José, ignites his flaming desire, Carmen rejects him for the famous bullfighter, Escamillo. José’s childhood sweetheart, Micaëla, visits on the pretext of persuading him to return home to his elderly mother, but she arrives just too late. José only has eyes for Carmen. His fate—and Carmen’s—has already been sealed. As José’s love degenerates into morbid obsession, Carmen must soon face the consequences of her need for freedom.

Georges Bizet’s score creates a lush and emotionally charged setting for this tragic story, which includes two of opera’s most iconic and instantly recognizable arias, in the Habanera and the Toreador’s March. Sadly, Bizet died within three months of Carmen’s 1875 premiere—meaning he never knew that he had written what would become one of the most popular operas in the repertoire.

This production sees the directorial debut of Denyce Graves, the most iconic Carmen of her generation. The production is designed by Riccardo Hernández, with costumes by Oana Botez.

Seville’s ultimate temptress will be sung by Virginie Verrez, and tenor, Robert Watson, as her all-too-brief love interest, Don José, a role he has sung in major houses across Europe and the United States. Flashy bullfighter, Escamillo, will be sung by bass-baritone Seth Caraco, making his house and role debut in a rare return to the US from his base in Germany. THe tragedy is led by three artists making Austin Opera debuts. Austin Opera’s Sarah and Ernest Butler Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor, Timothy Myers, will conduct.

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Saturday April 27, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, May2, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.