Dates

3-22 Sep 2022

Location

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main stage

Running time

3:35, incl. 2 intermissions

Tickets

n.a.

Carmen

Vive la liberté!

She is an enchanting seductress, the quintessential femme fatale and she represents all that is exotic. Carmen, the most popular fictional character in French opera, is back! Robert Carsen’s staging of Carmen strips the opera of its clichés and kitsch, while retaining the essence of the Spanish spirit. A good 150 years have passed since the opera first premièred in Paris, but Carmen, the heroine of this tale, continues to capture the imagination of audiences with her undisguised sensuality and free-spirited mentality.

Vive la liberté!

In 1875, Carmen was typecast by Bizet as the ultimate sultry siren – alluring and irresistible to men. She embodied everything that went against the grain of propriety, exposing the secret, inner desires of respectable citizens in the 19th century. Carmen’s nonconformist approach highlights the general parochial mindset of the time, which was punctuated by self-righteous morality. In 19th century culture, Carmen personified exoticism and the longing people felt for faraway places. She is intoxicating, intriguing audiences with her uncompromising approach to life, unwilling to sacrifice either love or freedom. She lives life true to her ideals and is fearless in her pursuit of these: vive la liberté!

Young Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza, hailed as a pioneer of his generation, will make his Dutch National Opera debut and promises to provide a refreshing interpretation of Bizet’s score. The production will feature a cast of exceptional singers, including French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac as Don José and mezzosoprano J’Nai Bridges, whose portrayal of Carmen is in great international demand.

Performance information

Lyric drama in four acts

Sung in French

Libretto  Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée

Musical direction  Jordan de Souza
Stage direction  Robert Carsen
Set design  Michael Levine
Costume design  Falk Bauer
Lighting design  Robert Carsen Peter van Praet 
Choreography  Marco Berriel
Revival direction Jean-Michel Criqui, Maria Lamont

Don José  Stanislas de Barbeyrac 
Escamillo  Lukasz Golinski 
Le Dancaïre  Michael Wilmering 
Le Remendado Ian Castro*
Zuniga  Frederik Bergman 
Carmen  J’Nai Bridges 
Micaëla  Adriana González 
Frasquita  Inna Demenkova*
Mercédès  Polly Leech
Lilas Pastia Laurent D'Elia
Morales Georgiy Derbas-Richter *

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master Lionel Sow

Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor (part of Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam)
Children's chorus master  Anaïs de la Morandais

Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Scène uit Carmen | Foto: Bart Grietens
Scène from Carmen | Photo: Bart Grietens
Carmen
Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Carmen with the chorus, extras and participants. Stage direction by Robert Carsen, set design by Michael Levine.

Couldn't you see Carmen?

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Artists
Robert Carsen
Robert Carsen
Stage direction and lighting design
read more
Cast
Nedpho

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Dutch National Opera has a long-standing and proud history with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | the Nether­lands Chamber Orchestra, which has been its main orchestra partner for the past 30 years. It is widely considered to be one of the best opera orchestras in the world.

© Melle Meivogel

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Naturally, it also performs in concerts of its own and then its go-to venue is the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In addition to its collabo­ration with chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti and music director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Gordan Nikolić, the orchestra regularly works with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as a whole new generation of excellent musicians. It has played on countless stages, using music to connect people by giving exceptional performances that inspire both connoisseurs and novices alike. The orches­tra's base is in the warm and welcoming NedPhO-Dome in the ‘lndische Buurt’ in Amsterdam, ensuring it is at the heart of the community. In this way, the orchestra hopes to make classical music more approachable to a wider audience.

Season 2022/23 will see the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra join us for our season-opener Carmenas well as for Königs­kinder, Turandot and Der RosenkavalierThe Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will provide the orchestral accompani­ment for Animal Farm and Maria Stuarda.

Carmen - podcast

Dramaturge Naomi Teekens in conversation with conductor Jordan de Souza about the music in Carmen and about its brilliant composer: Georges Bizet.

Behind the scenes

Carmen BTS
Read more
J'Nai Bridges at rehearsal Carmen

From dream role to signature role: J’Nai Bridges sings Carmen

Read more
Reacties
in de media
5 September

The musicians of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra are well suited to the most refined moments in Bizet's opera classic. And they can compete in expression with the Carmen on duty. The American mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges sways, dances, seduces, has a huge voice and commands the stage as if she lives there.

5 September

The star of the evening was Adriana González as Micaëla, José's devout village friend and the antagonist of the devil Carmen. González sang with a full, embracing tone and beautiful long lines. Stanislas de Barbeyrac also touched the heart as the soldier José deserted for Carmen.

5 September

But it is J'Nai Bridges who carries the performance with an almost ideal Carmen. The depth of her voice was both sexy and authoritative. She did not play Carmen over the top but seriously: not a frivolous rake but a woman full of restrained, stubborn rage who faces the world pityingly.

5 September

It remains vague what Carsen had in mind with Carmen. Feminist? Fatal woman? Murderer? She seems more like a vehicle in a higher issue.

4 September

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra plays Bizet's compelling music warmly and passionately under the young Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza.

Choir members about 'Au Secours' from Carmen

Choir members about 'Au Secours' from Carmen

Carmen: 'Au Secours'

'Au Secours', an aria from Carmen
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