Georges Bizet

Opera in 4 acts

(with one interval)

The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée

Running time: 3 hours 30 min.

Music Director and Conductor – Aleksandru SAMOILĂ, Principal Conductor of the Odessa Opera, People’s Artist of the Republic of Moldova

Stage Director and Choreographer – Georgy KOVTUN, People’s artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, Honoured Art Worker of Russia

Chorus Master - Leonid BUTENKO, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine

Scenic Designer – Stanislav ZAITSEV, Honoured Painter of Ukraine

Costume Designers – Elena LESNIKOVA


  • Carmen, a gypsy – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Tatiana Spasskaya, Ilona Skripnik, Ekaterina Tsymbalyuk, Taisiya Shafranskaya
  • Don José, Corporal of Dragoons – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Valeriy Benderov, Alexander Prokopovich, Nikolay Subbota
  • Escamillo, toreador – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Victor Mityushkin, Alexander Stryuk, Vadim Chernigovskiy
  • Remendado, a smuggler – Sergey Krasnykh, Andrey Perfilov
  • Dancaіro, a smuggler – Aleksey Gruzin, Yuriy Dudar, Bogdan Panchenko
  • Zuniga, Lieutenant of Dragoons – Dmitriy Pavlyuk, Dmitriy Sebov, Sergey Uzun,
  • Moralès, Corporal of Dragoons –Honoured Artist of Ukraine Pavlo Ermolenko, Ivan Flyak
  • Micaëla, Jose’s bride – Anastasia Golub, Inga Martynova, Yulia Tereshchuk
  • Frasquita, a gypsy – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Natalia Shevchenko, Alina Vorokh, Nadezhda Sychuk
  • Mercedes, a gypsy – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Vera Revenko, Anna Litvinova, Natalia Pavlenko
  • Carmen’s thoughts - Ekaterina Burdick, Maria Ryazantseva, Ekaterina Tomashek, Oksana Shirokova 
  • Jose’s thoughts - Dmitriy Dzenik, Roman Kalin, Svyatoslav Kvachuk, Bogdan Chabanyuk
  • Escamillo’s thoughts - Dmitriy Bartosh, Denis Vasilyev, Vyacheslav Kravchenko, Rostislav Yanchishen 
  • The orchestra, chorus, ballet, extras,Сhildren's choir «Pearls of Odessa» (Artistic Director – Larisa Garbuz)
  • Conductor – People's Artist of the Republic of Moldova Alexandru Samoile


  • The first violin – Oksana Moldavanova, Alexander Anisimov
  • The second violin – Nikita Tikhoplav, Tamara Medzhidova, Tatiana Serebryanskaya
  • Cello – Vladimir Avryatov, Natalia Marmusevich
  • Flute – Alexander Protas, Pavel Kotovschikov
  • Oboe – Alexander Chupyra, Alexander Murashko
  • Clarinet – Leonid Popov, Andrey Gulyar
  • English horn – Yulia Kuzmina, Yuriy Spiley
  • Bassoon – Ruslan Vasilchenko, Andrey Nadzhoga
  • French horn – Anatoly Pastukhov, Alexander  Maglevannyy
  • Trumpet – Vitaliy Pashkovskiy, Vitaliy Buinitskiy
  • Harp - Philippova Anna-Maria

Act One

 Everyone who comes to the theatre dreams of peeking in behind the curtain in order to see the preparations for a performance. Today we are giving the audience such a chance and allowing to visit the backstage area. Come and feel the creation of a theatrical production.

A square in Seville. Micaela comes to the standing guard near a tobacco factory. She is looking for the corporal Don José.

Zuniga and José lead the changing of the guard. The boys are marching around them and singing merrily. Corporal Morales tells José about a beautiful girl who has been looking for him.

The bells at the tobacco factory ring announcing of the lunch hour. The girls working at the factory come to the square. Everyone enthusiastically greets the most attractive girl, which is Carmen. Waving off all her admirers she sings the Habanera. The indifference of corporal José touches her and she does her best to charm him. Finally Carmen throws him a flower as a symbol of her affection.

Micaela arrives and Jose forgets about a daring gypsy. During  the tender duet they remember their homeland, their engagement. After that the lovers say goodbye.

There is some noise at the factory. Carmen has attacked one of the girls and injured her with a knife. Zuniga orders José to convoy the gypsy to prison. Staying alone with Don Jose Carmen finally beguiles a young corporal singing Seguidilla. Jose agrees to free her. Arranging a meeting with Jose in a tavern, Carmen suddenly pushes him and runs away.

Act Two

 Tavern near Seville. Carmen is thoughtful, she reacts neither to the compliments of Zuniga nor to the courtship of the bullfighter Escamillo. After the guests departure, the life in the tavern has changed: the smugglers Remendado and Dancaіro and Carmen‘s friends Frasquita and Mercedes are discussing the plan of the next fraud. Carmen refuses to follow them as she is waiting for the beloved Jose.

When Jose arrives, Carmen happily greets him, singing and dancing only for him. A distant bugle call is heard from the barracks. Jose must return to the barracks at once, otherwise, he will be declared a deserter.  Carmen doesn’t want to accept him going away. Jose tells her about his love, showing the flower, which he has kept in prison as a sign of her love. Carmen is adamant – if he really loves her, he must drop everything and go with her to the mountains, where they  will be free.

Jose tries to leave, but in the doorway he faces Zuniga, who has come to woo Carmen. Full of  jealousy, Jose loses his head and attacks Zuniga with a gun. The smugglers pull apart the rivals, but it is too late: Jose has violated the law and now he faces prison and the gallow. Carmen triumphs: now he has no choice but take the criminal path and be with her.

Act Three

Wild mountains. Night. Between the rocks the smugglers are creeping. Dancaіro and Remendado are going to find out whether the further path is free from the customs officers. Jose is torn between duty and passion, his relationship with Carmen is tense. Being disappointed in the beloved and realizing that Jose can not be like her companions, she tells him to go home. He threatens her. Frasquita and Mercedes begin reading the cards. The cards predict an old husband and wealth for one of the girls and a passionate love for the other. Carmen joins her friends. The cards foretell her death unmistakably.

Dancaіro goes away with Carmen – he needs a girl that can distract the customs officers. Jose is left alone on guard. Having overcome the fear Michaela comes to the smugglers. She wants to persuade Jose to go back to his roots, to his quiet life. Hearing the steps, the girl is hiding. Escamillo appears, hoping to find Carmen. He is ready to sacrifice his life for her love. Having quarreled with the bullfighter, Jose rushes to fight with him, and only the appearance of Carmen saves Escamillo from certain death. He invites her to a bullfight and leaves. Mad with jealousy and despair Jose rushes to Carmen. At this moment Micaela appears with a message about his mother lying on her death-bed. Threatening Carmen, Jose leaves.


Act Four

A square in front of the amphitheatre in Seville. Dressy crowd waits for the public entertainment – the bullfight. Everyone's favourite Escamillo appears with happy, luxuriously dressed Carmen. «I am yours forever!» – Carmen vows to her new beloved. Frasquita and Mercedes approach and warn her that Jose has been seen in the crowd.

The fanfares blare – the bullfight is about to begin. The crowd noisily flows into the doors of the amphitheatre. Carmen is also going there, but Jose blocks her way. The last time he begs Carmen to forget the past and to return to him. But Carmen cannot lie. «I was born free, and I will die free» – she says to José and boldly faces certain death in the name of freedom.


October, 2016