Opera Scotland

Carmen

Tours by decade

1870s - 1 tour

1879 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1880s - 10 tours

1880 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1880 - Soldene English and Comic Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1881 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1884 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1885 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1887 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1889 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1890s - 11 tours

1890 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1891 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1891 - Carl Rosa Carmen Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1892 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1893 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1895 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1896 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1898 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1899 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1900s - 9 tours

1904 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1905 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1905 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1906 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1909 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1910s - 16 tours

1910 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1910 - Castellano Grand Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1911 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1912 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1913 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1915 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1916 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1917 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 18 tours

1920 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1920 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1922 - British National Opera Company
Concert performance
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1923 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1924 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1925 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1926 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1928 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1928 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1930s - 6 tours

1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1934 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1935 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1936 - Universal Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1940s - 3 tours

1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 10 tours

1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1951 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1953 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1958 - Touring Opera 58
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1960s - 4 tours

1963 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1964 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1965 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1966 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 3 tours

1972 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1977 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1978 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 2 tours

1982 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1986 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1990s - 5 tours

1991 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1991 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1997 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1999 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1999 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 5 tours

2005 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2005 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2006 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2007 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2009 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 19 tours

2010 - Metropolitan Opera
Cinema Screening
2010 - Opera Novella
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2010 - Scottish Opera
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2011 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2012 - Edinburgh Grand Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2012 - St Magnus International Festival
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2013 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2013 - Opera à la Carte
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2014 - Fife Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2015 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2015 - Scottish Opera
Opera Unwrapped
2015 - Scottish Opera
Pre-show Talk
2016 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2016 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2016 - OperaUpClose
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2016 - Amande Concerts
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2018 - Amande Concerts
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2019 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Cinema Screening

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 279 entries

1879 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Glasgow
1880 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1880 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1880 - Soldene English and Comic Opera Company
Dundee
1881 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1881 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1884 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1884 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1885 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1885 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1887 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1887 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1889 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1889 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1890 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1890 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1891 - Carl Rosa Carmen Company
Glasgow
1891 - Carl Rosa Carmen Company
Edinburgh
1891 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1891 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1892 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1892 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1892 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1893 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1893 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1895 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1895 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1895 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1896 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1896 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1898 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1898 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1899 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Govan
1899 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1899 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1904 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Glasgow
1904 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Edinburgh
1905 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Edinburgh
1905 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Glasgow
1905 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1906 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Edinburgh
1906 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1909 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Aberdeen
1909 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Dundee
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1909 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Glasgow
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Falkirk
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1910 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Aberdeen
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Kirkcaldy
1910 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Dundee
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1910 - Castellano Grand Italian Opera
Edinburgh
1910 - Castellano Grand Italian Opera
Aberdeen
1910 - Castellano Grand Italian Opera
Dundee
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1911 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Aberdeen
1911 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Dundee
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1912 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1912 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1912 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1912 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1913 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1913 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1913 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1913 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1915 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Dundee
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1916 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Dundee
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1917 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Dundee
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1920 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Glasgow
1920 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1922 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1923 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1923 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1925 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1925 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1926 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1927 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1928 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1928 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1928 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1928 - British National Opera Company
Aberdeen
1928 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1928 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1934 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1934 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1934 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1935 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1935 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1936 - Universal Grand Opera Company
Glasgow
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1951 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1953 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Glasgow
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1958 - Touring Opera 58
Glasgow
1958 - Touring Opera 58
Aberdeen
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1963 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1963 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1963 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1964 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1964 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1965 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
1966 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Glasgow
1972 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1977 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Edinburgh
1978 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Edinburgh
1982 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
1986 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1986 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1986 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1991 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
1991 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1991 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1991 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1997 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
1999 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Glasgow
1999 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1999 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1999 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2005 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
2005 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Edinburgh
2005 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Dundee
2005 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Aberdeen
2005 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Glasgow
2006 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2006 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2007 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Edinburgh
2007 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Aberdeen
2007 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Dundee
2007 - Chisinau National Opera, Moldova
Glasgow
2009 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2009 - Ellen Kent Productions
Dundee
2009 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2010 - Metropolitan Opera
Galashiels
2010 - Metropolitan Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Metropolitan Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Opera Novella
Culross, near Dunfermline
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Dunfermline
2010 - Scottish Opera
Hamilton
2010 - Scottish Opera
Tain, Ross-shire
2010 - Scottish Opera
Oban, Argyll
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Dumfries
2010 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
2010 - Scottish Opera
Musselburgh, East Lothian
2010 - Scottish Opera
Kelso
2010 - Scottish Opera
St Andrews
2010 - Scottish Opera
Pitlochry
2010 - Scottish Opera
Nairn
2010 - Scottish Opera
Thurso, Caithness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Kirkwall, Orkney
2010 - Scottish Opera
Ullapool
2010 - Scottish Opera
Stornoway, Lewis
2010 - Scottish Opera
Portree, Isle of Skye
2010 - Scottish Opera
Easterhouse
2010 - Scottish Opera
Newton Stewart
2010 - Scottish Opera
Linlithgow
2011 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Aberdeen
2012 - Edinburgh Grand Opera
Edinburgh
2012 - St Magnus International Festival
Orkney
2013 - Ellen Kent Productions
Aberdeen
2013 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2013 - Ellen Kent Productions
Dundee
2013 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2013 - Opera à la Carte
Dumfries
2014 - Fife Opera
Kirkcaldy
2015 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2015 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2015 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2015 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2015 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2015 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2015 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2015 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2015 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2015 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2015 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2015 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2016 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2016 - Ellen Kent Productions
Dundee
2016 - OperaUpClose
St Andrews
2016 - Amande Concerts
Dunfermline
2018 - Amande Concerts
Perth
2019 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Aberdeen

England, UK - 5 entries

1986 - Scottish Opera
Liverpool
1986 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1991 - Scottish Opera
Birmingham
1991 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1999 - Scottish Opera
Sunderland

Northern Ireland, UK - 1 entry

Music
Georges Bizet (born Paris, 25 October 1838; died Le Bougival, nr Paris, 3 June 1875)

Text
Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.

Source
Nouvelle (1845) by Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870).

Premières
First performance: Paris (Opéra-Comique), 3 March 1875.
First UK performance: London (Her Majesty’s Theatre), 22 June 1878.
First performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Prince of Wales’ Theatre), 3 March 1879.
Scottish Opera première: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 30 September 1986.

Background
Bizet’s masterpiece was more successful at its opening in Paris than any of his previous works. However the subject was controversial due to the perceived immorality of the plot. The original spoken dialogue was seen to restrict its attraction for non-French audiences, and after Bizet’s death Meilhac added words for a series of recitatives composed by Guiraud. In this form the opera quickly spread round Europe in the form of a grand opera, and this is how it was generally performed until relatively recently. There is now more frequently a policy of restoring the dialogue if the singers can cope with it or the performance is in the language of the audience. This generally increases the immediacy of the drama.

Characters
Moralès, a sergeant (baritone)
Micaëla, a peasant girl (soprano)
Don José, a corporal (tenor)
Zuniga, a captain (bass)
Carmen, a gypsy (mezzo-soprano)
Frasquita, a gypsy, Carmen’s friend (soprano)
Mercédès, a gypsy, Carmen’s friend (mezzo-soprano)
Escamillo, a toreador (baritone)
Le Dancaïre, a smuggler (baritone)
Le Remendado, a smuggler (tenor)

Plot Summary
The setting is the city of Seville and nearby mountains, around 1820. Some dragoons are outside their guardhouse. Micaëla, who has come in search of José, approaches them. She agrees to return later. The guard changes and José comes on duty. Carmen is among a group of girls from the cigarette factory. She flirts with José, throwing a flower at his feet before running into the factory. José has a brief meeting with Micaëla, who gives him a letter from his mother. But Carmen has been involved in a fight, injuring another woman in the factory, and José is delegated to take her to prison. She resumes her seduction attempt and he allows her to escape. A month passes, and at a nearby inn, after the triumphs of the toreador Escamillo have been celebrated, Zuniga tells Carmen than José has been released from prison. When the others have gone, José arrives and he and Carmen resume their flirting. However Zuniga returns, and in a jealous rage José attacks him. He is left with no option but to desert from the army and join the smugglers.

José chooses Carmen over Micaëla, who brings him the news that his mother is dying. Carmen soon tires of him and leaves him for Escamillo and the bright lights of Seville. José cannot accept this, and descending into madness he kills her outside the bullring.

RECORDINGS

DECCA (2 CDs) Sung in French Recorded 1975

Conductor: Georg Solti
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Tatiana Troyanos (Carmen), Placido Domingo (Don José), Kiri Te Kanawa (Micaëla).

Most of these performers sang in Carmen at Covent Garden around this time, although the LPO’s experience of playing it at Glyndebourne was several years in the future. The arrangement of the dialogue is generally satisfactory, and most of the singers manage it well, though they do not all sound particularly French. José van Dam is superb as Escamillo, and Kiri Te Kanawa sounds lovely.

DG (2 CDs) Sung in French Recorded 1977

Conductor: Claudio Abbado
London Symphony Orchestra
Teresa Berganza (Carmen), Placido Domingo (Don José), Ileana Cotrubas (Micaëla).

This recording is based on the wonderful staging of Carmen by Piero Faggioni mounted at the Edinburgh Festival in 1977 to mark Peter Diamand’s retirement as director. Dress Circle tickets were priced at the staggering sum of £25! The special feature of this production was the great intimacy gained by using the King’s Theatre (Berganza had, it seems, been turning down offers from major houses for years). The performances saw numerous cast changes over the two runs, only Berganza singing every night. The recording was made in London a few months later, with some cast changes – Sherrill Milnes (Escamillo) and Robert Lloyd (Zuniga) did not appear in Edinburgh at all (though Lloyd had at least sung Zuniga at the King’s with Sadler’s Wells on tour in 1972).

EMI (2 CDs) Sung in French Recorded 1964

Conductor: Georges Prêtre
Paris Opéra Orchestra
Maria Callas (Carmen), Nicolai Gedda (Don José), Andréa Guiot (Micaëla).

Callas is certainly different as Carmen. The role puts less pressure on her by now suspect high notes and allows her full rein to create a dramatic character, with lots of grinding chest tone. Gedda was by this time the world’s favourite ‘French’ tenor and is very stylish. Older viewers fondly remember the excellent Micaëla, Andréa Guiot, from her visit to Scottish Opera the same year for Marguerite in Faust. The traditional grand opera edition (published by Choudens) is used, and sounds a bit clunky, but it was unavoidable at the time.

EMI Classics for Pleasure (1 CD – excerpts) Sung in English Recorded 1961

Conductor: Colin Davis Sadler’s Wells Opera Orchestra Patricia Johnson (Carmen), Donald Smith (Don José), Elizabeth Robson (Micaëla).

This is a souvenir of Sir Colin Davis’s years at the helm at Sadler’s Wells. His French repertoire speciality was Berlioz, but his Bizet is fine. Patricia Johnson is a superb dramatic mezzo, who sadly spent most of her career in Berlin. As Micaëla, it is good to see the under-recorded Dundee-born Elizabeth Robson.

The Cast

Bohemian
 
Carmen
  a gypsy
Dancaïre
 a smuggler
Dancer
 
Don José
 a corporal of dragoons
Escamillo
 a toreador
Flamenco dancer
 
Frasquita
  a gypsy, Carmen’s friend
Guide
 
Gypsy
 
Lillas Pastia
 an innkeeper
Mercédès
 a gypsy, Carmen’s friend
Merchant
 
Micaëla
 a peasant girl
Moralès
 a corporal of dragoons
Officer
 
Remendado
 a smuggler
Zuniga
 a lieutenant of dragoons

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