This scorching new production of one of the most popular operas ever written will take you deep down into a world where desire and hot-blooded passion reign supreme… Carmen is a strong woman doing what she can to survive in a poor frontier town, manipulating and seducing the men who try to control her. But when one man’s obsession turns to wild jealousy, the consequences are shocking.

Bizet’s flamenco-infused music overflows with emotion and unforgettable melodies including the ‘Habanera’ and Toreador Song. Penned 150 years ago, the themes of femininity, desire, violence and toxic masculinity resonate now more than ever. Edward Dick returns to direct following his five-star Tosca that thrilled audiences in 2018.

Please be aware this production includes depictions of violence (including violence against women and murder) and drug use.

“Chrystal E. Williams gives a magnetic performance”
★★★★ The Guardian 

“… compelling… sheer entertainment value”
★★★★ The Times

“The chorus is on thrilling form – ditto the orchestra”
★★★★ The Stage

From £15*
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham
  • Hull New Theatre

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes

Sung in French with English titles

Age guidance

Save with…
Season Ticket Packages
Under 30s membership
New to opera discounts

Dementia Friendly performance on 26 Oct

Read our COVID-19 guidance

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.



A group of soldiers are relaxing in Lillas Pastia’s club. Carmen, the star of the show, performs, captivating Don José.

Micaëla arrives to give José a message and a kiss from his mother. The message urges José to return home and marry Micaëla. As he is about to agree to her wishes, a brawl erupts amongst the club’s performers which the soldiers must bring under control.

Carmen is arrested and delivers a private dance to Don Jose, knowingly referring to a bar that they can escape to together…

Carmen and her friends are rehearsing a new number at the club.

The rodeo rider Escamillo arrives and sets his sights on Carmen; she brushes him aside.

José arrives and Carmen dances for him. They are interrupted by a call, he must return for duty. Carmen demands that he show his love by leaving with her for a life of freedom.

Zuniga, José’s lieutenant, arrives looking for Carmen. He and José fight. Having attacked a superior officer, José has no choice other than to flee with Carmen.

Carmen has now become bored with José and wishes he would return to his mother.

Micaëla arrives seeking to find José and convince him to return to his previous life. She hears a gunshot; José has fired a shot at an intruder, who turns out to be the rodeo rider Escamillo. The pair fight, each claiming their love for Carmen.

Micaëla is discovered but José refuses to leave, until she reveals his mother is dying. He departs, vowing he will return again soon.

Escamillo and Carmen announce their mutual love for each other. While Escamillo is occupied, Carmen is confronted by a desperate José. He pleads for her to return to him, but Carmen throws down the ring he gave her and attempts to leave.

José kills Carmen. He confesses to her murder.


Chrystal E. Williams


Erin Caves *


Rafael Rojas †


Camila Titinger *


Alison Langer †


Phillip Rhodes *


Gyula Nagy †


Amy Freston


Helen Évora


Christopher Nairne *


James Davies †


Stuart Laing


Dean Robinson


Matthew Stiff


Nando Messias

Lillas Pastia

Creative team

Garry Walker *

Conductor (exc. 17, 19 Nov)

Antony Hermus †

Conductor (exc. 18 Feb; 18, 31 Mar)

Harry Sever

Conductor (17, 19 Nov)

Anthony Kraus

Conductor (18 Feb; 18, 31 Mar)

Edward Dick


Colin Richmond

Set Designer

Laura Hopkins

Costume Designer

Rick Fisher

Lighting Designer

Lea Anderson


Claire Llewellyn of Rc-Annie Ltd

Fight Director

* Autumn: October – November 2021
Winter: January – April 2022


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