3-22 Sep 2022
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main stage
3:35, incl. 2 intermissions
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.
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
‘Carmen gives mezzos a chance to go all out’
Check out the ticket prices per price category via the link below.
Couldn't you see Carmen? LISTEN TO NTR OPERA LIVE
During NTR opera live on 17 September from 19.00 - 23.00 you can listen to the opera Carmen. Missed it? The broadcast will be available from 23.30 that same evening.
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
Carmen - podcast
Dramaturge Naomi Teekens in conversation with conductor Jordan de Souza about the music in Carmen and about its brilliant composer: Georges Bizet.
Almost every performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introduction, with background information that can deepen your theatre visit. The introductions are in Dutch and admission is free by showing a valid ticket.
Introduction Carmen by: Naomi Teekens (3 September) and Maarten van Hinte (other data)
Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: 2nd Balcony
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.
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.
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.
It remains vague what Carsen had in mind with Carmen. Feminist? Fatal woman? Murderer? She seems more like a vehicle in a higher issue.
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra plays Bizet's compelling music warmly and passionately under the young Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza.