Georges Bizet

12 February – 2 April 2022

This event has passed.

She will always be free

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*

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Running time
Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes

Sung in French with English titles

Age guidance

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Under 30s membership
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*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.


This audio introduction gives detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances.

It is to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!

Introduction — 0:00
Synopsis — 0:45
Characters — 2:58
Set – 6:08
Costumes – 8:52
Production team — 12:22
Further information and dates — 12:56

BSL introduction

Join us for signed performances of Carmen at:

Leeds Grand Theatre: Wednesday 16 February
The Lowry, Salford Quays: Thursday 10 March
Theatre Royal, Nottingham: Friday 18 March
Hull New Theatre: Thursday 31 March

Cast & creative

Black and white headshot of Chrystal-E.-Williams
Chrystal E. Williams


Sébastien Guèze


Alison Langer


Gyula Nagy


A woman with curly dark hair resting her head on her hand.
Amy Freston


Helen Évora


James Davies


Stuart Laing


Dean Robinson


Matthew Stiff


Anders Duckworth


Antony Hermus

CONDUCTOR (EXC. 12, 16, 18 FEB; 18, 31 MAR)

A man wearing glasses without frames.
Anthony Kraus

CONDUCTOR (12, 16, 18 FEB; 18, 31 MAR)

Edward Dick


Colin Richmond


Black and white headshot of Laura Hopkins
Laura Hopkins


Rick Fisher


Lea Anderson


Black and white head shot of a smiling woman with curly hair
Claire Llewellyn of Rc-Annie Ltd



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