Georges Bizet (1838–1875) is not only considered the master of the French opera of the second half of the 19th century, but also a distinctive opera composer, who has dedicated almost all his creative forces to theatre. He has composed Carmen between 1873 and 1874. The libretto, written with the composer's assistance and based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, is believed to be one of the best in the entire opera literature. The famous story about the seductive Gypsy is in fact a folk drama of unrestrained passion, tackling the questions about love that remains but a momentary affection, and about jealousy and revenge that leads inevitably to death and destruction. Thus Bizet created a unique work – a realistic opera - that has no equal even among the greatest masterpieces of the cognate Italian “verismo”. The well-crafted characters of this full-blooded drama with a tragic denouement is imbued by the fiery Spanish rhythms and Gypsy melodies, outlining the environment Carmen stems from and is unable to escape.
This opera's new staging will be entrusted to the British Stage Director and Set Designer Pamela Howard, whereas its music direction will be in the hands of our Opera's Chief Conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink.