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Carmen Tickets

London Opera
Calixto Bieito’s acclaimed production of Carmen, a must-see opera, returns to the ENO in winter 2020.
Carmen is a searing depiction of a woman who craves love, but creates obsession and jealousy. One of the most popular operas ever written, Bizet’s score is bursting with passionate melodies and includes such famous numbers as the ‘Habanera’, ‘Toreador’s Song’ and ‘Flower Song’. Calixto Bieito’s production explores the complex relationships between the sexes at the tail-end of Franco’s regime in the 1970s. Returning in the title role is sensational mezzo Justina Gringytė. Rising stars Sean Panikkar (José) and Nardus Williams (Micaëla) make their ENO debuts. Making a welcome return to the company is Ashley Riches as Escamillo. The cast is rounded out by ENO Harewood Artists Samantha Price, Elgan Llŷr Thomas, Matthew Durkan and Alex Otterburn. ENO Mackerras Fellow Valentina Peleggi conducts. Co-production with Den Norske Opera and Ballet. ‘The audience is palpably gripped by the action’ ★★★★ The Stage
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From the Production


Rated 3.6 out of 5 (39 Reviews)
  • Review Avatar Jun 13, 2015

    My first opera. Loved it. Hadn't realised though that the seats at the back of the Dress Circle obscured the view of the sub titles or 'surtitle' as it said on the ticket. Managed to move to a free seat for the second half. Will know better next time. Love the Coliseum too.

  • Review Avatar Jun 15, 2015

    The singing was excellent and the portrayal of Carmen and Jose. However so much emphasis on the sex that at times it was uncomfortable to watch and detracted from the singing. We all understand the sex element without it being thrust in our faces. Could only really enjoy the singing if I shut my eyes at times.

  • Review Avatar Jun 17, 2015

    Very good- a dramatic production

  • Review Avatar Jun 25, 2015

    I really did not enjoy the play and even considered leaving half way through. Carmen was poorly reflected. Was she supposed to be a gypsy or a prostitute? Could not relate to her at all, was in fact almost a relief when she dies at the end. And I thought it was pretty distasteful to have children on stage with so much nudity and racy scenes.

  • Review Avatar Jun 25, 2015

    Super production with innovative stage design. On occasions the principle voices lacked a bit in volume.

  • Review Avatar Jun 30, 2015

    It is the first time I've attended a performance of Carmen (even though I, obviously, know all the musical pieces). I liked it. However, my wife, who's seen a number of different versions of Carmen on TV was critical.

  • Review Avatar Jun 30, 2015

    I thought it would be easier to understand in English, but that wasn't the case. Oh well. Very interesting take on this piece. I think the setting and era worked well.

  • Review Avatar Jul 2, 2015

    Glad to have words showing overhead as diction very poor from both Carmen and Don Jose characters. Terribly weak acting by all leads. Best singing by far was Micaela and the other gypsy girl with short black hair. Really 'average' - won't recommend to friends.

  • Review Avatar Jul 4, 2015

    Where was the exotic gypsy encampment, the dancing, the passion? This was a bleak production for a cynical, corrupt age. Plenty of sex and violence, some of it gratuitous, not enough romance and colour. A depressing experience

  • Review Avatar Jul 4, 2015

    Very good but do not understand the nude dancer? No context, made the nudity gratuitous

  • Review Avatar Jul 4, 2015

    Carmen (Justina) was amazing and voice was stunning. The whole opera was very modern, I really missed the actual Spanish atmosphere and the costumes were poor. Was not impressed with the actual real idea, I do not think the message was sent to the audience. The good thing was voices, music , orchestra and Carmen ( Justina), impressed with her behavior on the scene and professionalism, also very expressive .

  • Review Avatar Jul 4, 2015

    Having see and heard Carmen in Paris and Atlanta were disappointed with performance. Orchestra too loud over singing, muffled chorus first two acts even principal singers not heard well sitting in the dress circle. Better last two acts.

  • Review Avatar Jul 5, 2015

    Went to the opera for the first time and this was a brilliant show to start with. The singing was amazing and the staging was very clever. Would definitely recommend this to others!

  • Review Avatar Jul 6, 2015

    First: the english translation, unnecessary since the lyrics were projected, badly fit the music and distorted the arias. The site of the opera's action seemed somewhere in the near present but the costumes seem to straddle many periods. What was that Christmas tree there for? The characterizations through the whole thrust of the story off: all the women seemed aggressive, immoral, and without concern for anyone but themselves. The critical card game, which was based ona true belief in the prognosticative power of the cards, was treated like a stupid, careless activity. Carmen — a blond gypsie?—was portrayed also as aggressive and immoral rather than the hard-dealing woman caught in a hard-scrabble life. This Carmen seemed totally indifferent to any of her men, including Don Jose and Escamillio (whose casting made him unbelievable as a treat to Don Jose). This Carmen was in love withh no one. So her self-sacrifice did not fit what her lyrics described. Don Jose was poorly sung with several ky notes missed. And he was without the tormented character "Carmen" the opera not performed required. Not to mention that he was so out of shape he could not manage the fighting on the car tops scene. And what was that busness of putting leggings and high heel shoes? Was she being tarted up for the man they were trying to cheat, starting her out early in her life as aa immoral , aggressive, psychopathic gypsie? In short: I was extremely disappointed and now need to see a real "Carmen" to have my love of the opera revivified.

  • Review Avatar Jul 6, 2015

    Felt more like a contemporary musical rather than opera, which was actually quite nice.

  • Review Avatar Jan 30, 2020

    Carmen and chorus inaudible at times and seem to struggle with diction. Spoken sections were weak. View was poor with rows in front leaning forward and blocking sightlines. Audience talked a lot and were on phones - especially after the interval. Staging was great as was the orchestra.

  • Review Avatar Jan 30, 2020

    Whilst the venue was beautiful. I felt the sound was not great. The female lead was a little shrill. This was our first Opera and in truth I don't know if we were watching what most Operas are like. I don't personally think the translating worked. The dialogue was juvenile and quite unsophisticated.

  • Review Avatar Feb 2, 2020

    We left at the interval. I was quite bored. The seats at the Coliseum are so uncomfortable that I now wish I didn't have something else boomed there for next month. Carmen is played by a blonde woman which seemed odd. Also the way it was played out was exaggerating the rapey aspect of the story. Not a fan.

  • Review Avatar Feb 4, 2020

    Spellbound! Everything and more than I expected, The Cast were fabulous, the whole experience left me wanting more! Thankyou!!

  • Review Avatar Feb 7, 2020

    It was brilliant