2009 Opera: Carmen

2009 Opera: Carmen



The Plot:

Soldiers stand guard in the Plaza of Seville on a hot summer morning. A girl from the country, Michaela, enters with a letter for Don Jose. He is not there, and the soldiers tell her to come back later.
Carmen works in the factory, and is so beautiful that everyone admires her. During their break, she sings of how dangerous it is to fall in love with her as she flirts with Don Jose, one of the guards. She gives him a rose as she returns to work.
Michaela comes back and gives Don Jose a letter from his mother. She leaves while he reads it. It asks him to marry Michaela. He agrees ... but puts the rose from Carmen in his pocket.
There is a fight in the factory, and soldiers arrest Carmen for starting it. While waiting to go to prison, she convinces Don Jose to let her escape. She tells him she will wait for him at a tavern. He is arrested and sent to prison for letting her escape.

Act II takes place in the tavern of Lillias Pastia, next to the walls of Seville. Carmen and her gypsy friends are entertaining the officers with their dancing and singing.
Right at closing hours, they are visited by the famous bullfighter, Escamillio. He charms the crowd and sings of the dangers and glory of bullfighting. Before he leaves, he gives Carmen a rose.
After everyone leaves, the smugglers Don Cairo and Remenado plan for their next job, and ask Carmen to join them. She says she is waiting for Don Jose to come from prison. He enters, and Carmen dances for him. Zuniga comes, and Don Jose fights him for Carmen. After that he has no choice but to leave with Carmen and the gypsies.

Act III is at the gypsy camp in the mountains. The band returns after a successful smuggling run to share the spoils. Everyone unpacks and dances joyously to see all of the gold and jewels.
Don Jose is jealous; he and Carmen are not getting along well. Carmen tells him he should go home to his mother. Then she, Frasquita and Mercedes sit down to tell their fortunes with cards. Carmen's cards say "death."
Escamillio comes to the camp to find Carmen, and fights with Don Jose. The gypsies pull them apart, and the bullfigher leaves, but not without inviting Carmen to join him in Seville.
Michaela comes and tells Don Jose his mother is dying, and Don Jose leaves with her.

The last act takes place in front of the bullring in Seville. Everyone in town is hurrying in to see the great Escamillio fight. Escamillio arrives at the ring with Carmen on his arm. Her friends Frasquita and Mercedes hurry up to warn her that Don Jose is there, and they are afraid for her. Carmen tells them she will face him herself.
Don Jose enters, and Carmen tells him she's not afraid, go ahead and do whatever he has planned. He says he has something to give her, and gives her the rose he has carried for so long. He tells her he has decided to marry Michaela, and she should be happy with Escamillo. Everyone enters, and the opera ends with a reprise of the Toreador Song.
In our last performance on May 27th, the cast did the original Carmen ending, where Don Jose stabs her in a jealous rage and she dies in front of the bull ring.