Argentine tenor Marcelo Álvarez is Don José in Bizet’s French opera Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera performances from January 19 – February 18, 2017.

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Carmen 2017

French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine stars in the title role. Argentine tenor Marcelo Álvarez is Don José. Italian soprano Maria Agresta is Micaëla. Asher Fisch is the main conductor.

Thursday, January 19 at 7:30pm
Monday, January 23 at 7:30pm
Friday, January 27 at 7:30pm, Derrick Inouye conducts
Tuesday, January 31 at 7:30pm
Friday, February 3 at 8pm, Janai Brugger is Micaëla
Tuesday, February 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, February 11 at 1pm
Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30pm, Louis Langrée conducts
Saturday, February 18 at 8pm, Louis Langrée conducts

Clémentine Margaine rehearses the Habanera (“L’amour est un oiseau rebelle”) from Act I in 2017
Marcelo Álvarez as Don José in 2017 by Beatriz Schiller, courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.


About Carmen

Elina Garanca is Carmen in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2015 production
Carmen is the story of a gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules. It is an opera in four acts by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. It is based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée.

The opera premiered in 1875 at the Opéra Comique, Paris. It was considered scandalous for its presentation of lawlessness and immorality among the working class. The death of Carmen on stage was also controversial.

Cover photo by Ken Howard, courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.

The Carmen Synopsis

The story is set in Seville in southern Spain. Seville is the capital of Andalusia, the heartland of Spanish gypsys.

Act 1

Soldiers are standing guard near a cigarette factory. Micaëla, a peasant girl, is looking for her sweetheart, the soldier Don José. During a break, men stop to watch the female workers. The Gypsy Carmen flirts with the men and throws a flower to Don José. He picks up the flower, but hides it when Micaëla returns. Carmen fights with another woman so Lieutenant Zuniga sends Don José to get her. When he takes her away to prison, Carmen seduces Don José and he lets her escape. Don José is arrested.

Act II

Carmen and friends Frasquita and Mercédès are entertaining guests at a tavern. Lieutenant Zuniga informs Carmen that Don José has been released. The bullfighter Escamillo flirts with Carmen and she dances for him.

Don José arrives and Carmen tells him she danced for the Lieutenant. She dances for Don José who shows her the flower he kept to prove his love. Carmen asks Don José to run away with her to the mountains, but he refuses. The Lieutenant enters and Don José fights him. Now Don José has to flee to the mountains.


In the mountains, Carmen tells Don José that she no longer cares for him and he should go back to his mother. Frasquita and Mercédès play the Tarot cards which show death for Carmen and Don José.

Micaëla comes to talk with Don José. She hides when he fires a shot in the darkness. The bullfighter Escamillo has come looking for Carmen. The men fight. Then Escamillo invites everyone to his next bullfight and leaves. Micaëla asks Don José to come home. He agrees but tells Carmen he will see her again.

Act IV

Carmen arrives at the Seville bull ring with Escamillo. She waits outside as the crowds enter. Don José arrives and begs her to love him. She refuses, throws his ring at him, and Don José murders her.


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