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Carmen

Venue: Terme di Caracalla

 
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Roma
Italy
 
 
All dates
Season 2018
 

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Next performance (see season calendar above for other dates)
Carmen
Sat 14 July 2018
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 130 € Add to cart
 
Settore A
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 90 € Add to cart
 
Settore B
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 65 € Add to cart
 
Settore C
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Settore D
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Carmen
Thu 19 July 2018
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00:00 Terme di Caracalla 110 € Add to cart
 
Settore A
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00:00 Terme di Caracalla 80 € Add to cart
 
Settore B
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00:00 Terme di Caracalla 55 € Add to cart
 
Settore C
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00:00 Terme di Caracalla 40 € Add to cart
 
Settore D
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Carmen
Sun 29 July 2018
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 110 € Add to cart
 
Settore A
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 80 € Add to cart
 
Settore B
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 55 € Add to cart
 
Settore C
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 40 € Add to cart
 
Settore D
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21:00 Terme di Caracalla 25 € Add to cart
 
 
 
Event details
 
Composer: Georges Bizet

Synopsis

Place: Seville, Spain, and surrounding hills
Time: Around 1820

 

Act 1

A square, in Seville. On the right, a door to the tobacco factory. At the back, a bridge. On the left, a guardhouse.

A group of soldiers relaxes in the square, waiting for the changing of the guard and commenting on the passers-by ("Sur la place, chacun passe"). Micaëla appears, seeking José. Moralès tells her that "José is not yet on duty" and invites her to wait with them. She declines, saying she will return later. José arrives with the new guard, which is greeted and imitated by a crowd of urchins ("Avec la garde montante").

As the factory bell rings, the cigarette girls emerge and exchange banter with young men in the crowd ("La cloche a sonné"). Carmen enters and sings her provocative habanera on the untameable nature of love ("L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"). The men plead with her to choose a lover, and after some teasing she throws a flower to Don José, who thus far has been ignoring her but is now annoyed by her insolence.

As the women go back to the factory, Micaëla returns and gives José a letter and a kiss from his mother ("Parle-moi de ma mère!"). He reads that his mother wants him to return home and marry Micaëla, who retreats in shy embarrassment on learning this. Just as José declares that he is ready to heed his mother's wishes, the women stream from the factory in great agitation. Zuniga, the officer of the guard, learns that Carmen has attacked a woman with a knife. When challenged, Carmen answers with mocking defiance ("Tra la la... Coupe-moi, brûle-moi"); Zuniga orders José to tie her hands while he prepares the prison warrant. Left alone with José, Carmen beguiles him with a seguidilla, in which she sings of a night of dancing and passion with her lover—whoever that may be—in Lillas Pastia's tavern. Confused yet mesmerised, José agrees to free her hands; as she is led away she pushes her escort to the ground and runs off laughing. José is arrested for dereliction of duty.

 

Act 2

Lillas Pastia's Inn

Two months have passed. Carmen and her friends Frasquita and Mercédès are entertaining Zuniga and other officers ("Les tringles des sistres tintaient") in Pastia's inn. Carmen is delighted to learn of José's release from two month's detention. Outside, a chorus and procession announces the arrival of the toreador Escamillo ("Vivat, vivat le Toréro"). Invited inside, he introduces himself with the "Toreador Song" ("Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre") and sets his sights on Carmen, who brushes him aside. Lillas Pastia hustles the crowds and the soldiers away.

When only Carmen, Frasquita and Mercédès remain, the smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado arrive and reveal their plans to dispose of some recently acquired contraband ("Nous avons en tête une affaire"). Frasquita and Mercédès are keen to help them, but Carmen refuses, since she wishes to wait for José. After the smugglers leave, José arrives. Carmen treats him to a private exotic dance ("Je vais danser en votre honneur ... La la la"), but her song is joined by a distant bugle call from the barracks. When José says he must return to duty, she mocks him, and he answers by showing her the flower that she threw to him in the square ("La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"). Unconvinced, Carmen demands he show his love by leaving with her. José refuses to desert, but as he prepares to depart, Zuniga enters looking for Carmen. He and José fight, and are separated by the returning smugglers, who restrain Zuniga. Having attacked a superior officer, José now has no choice but to join Carmen and the smugglers ("Suis-nous à travers la campagne").

 

Act 3

A wild spot in the mountains

Carmen and José enter with the smugglers and their booty ("Écoute, écoute, compagnons"); Carmen has now become bored with José and tells him scornfully that he should go back to his mother. Frasquita and Mercédès amuse themselves by reading their fortunes from the cards; Carmen joins them and finds that the cards are foretelling her death, and José's. The women depart to suborn the customs officers who are watching the locality. José is placed on guard duty.

Micaëla enters with a guide, seeking José and determined to rescue him from Carmen ("Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante"). On hearing a gunshot she hides in fear; it is José, who has fired at an intruder who proves to be Escamillo. José's pleasure at meeting the bullfighter turns to anger when Escamillo declares his infatuation with Carmen. The pair fight ("Je suis Escamillo, toréro de Grenade"), but are interrupted by the returning smugglers and girls ("Holà, holà José"). As Escamillo leaves he invites everyone to his next bullfight in Seville. Micaëla is discovered; at first, José will not leave with her despite Carmen's mockery, but he agrees to go when told that his mother is dying. As he departs, vowing he will return, Escamillo is heard in the distance, singing the toreador's song.

 

Act 4

A square in Seville. At the back, the walls of an ancient amphitheatre

Zuniga, Frasquita and Mercédès are among the crowd awaiting the arrival of the bullfighters ("Les voici ! Voici la quadrille!"). Escamillo enters with Carmen, and they express their mutual love ("Si tu m'aimes, Carmen"). As Escamillo goes into the arena, Frasquita warns Carmen that José is nearby, but Carmen is unafraid and willing to speak to him. Alone, she is confronted by the desperate José ("C'est toi ! C'est moi !"). While he pleads vainly for her to return to him, cheers are heard from the arena. As José makes his last entreaty, Carmen contemptuously throws down the ring he gave her and attempts to enter the arena. He then stabs her, and as Escamillo is acclaimed by the crowds, Carmen dies. José kneels and sings "Ah! Carmen! ma Carmen adorée!"; as the crowd exits the arena, José confesses to killing the woman he loved.

 
Program details
 

Music by Georges Bizet


Opera in four acts
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée


First performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, on 3 March 1875


Length: 3h10 approximately - I and II ACT 100' - INTERMISSION 30' - III and IV ACT 60'
Conductor: Ryan McAdams
Director: Valentina Carrasco


Chorus Master Roberto Gabbiani
Set designer Samal Blak
Costume designer Luis Carvalho
Choreography Jean-Philippe Dury
Lighting designer Peter van Praet

 

Main roles


Carmen Ketevan Kemoklidze
Don José Andeka Gorrotxategui
Escamillo Simón Orfila
Dancairo Alessio Verna
Frasquita Daniela Cappiello
Mercédès Anna Pennisi
Remendado Pietro Picone
Zuniga Roberto Lorenzi


Orchestra Chorus and Corps de Ballet of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
 

A Teatro dell’Opera di Roma production
sung in original language with italian and english surtitles

 
Venue
 
Terme di Caracalla
 

On 27 July 1937, Piero Colonna, governor of Rome, called press representatives to present the project, previously approved, to build an open air theatre within the archeological site of the Baths of Caracalla, where from the 1st of August onwards operas would have been performed.
Under the Fascist regime, the Roman Summer had a further venue for music, namely melodrama, along with the Basilica of Maxentius, where in Summer time the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia used to perform.
According to the Governor, it was an experiment, which turned into a usual event both for the citizenry and the international public. Furthermore, it was fundamental to give the then Teatro Reale dell’Opera its final structure and let all theatre artists and technicians work with some continuity.
Defined as "Teatro del popolo", it became more and more an expression of a rediscovered and accomplished popular taste. It is useful to recall that in 1937 the Verona Arena launched its twenty-first opera season.
With its technological plans, designed and set up by Pericle Ansaldo, the stage was places within one of the large rooms near the tepidarium; with 1,500 sqm suerface and a 22 metre proscenium, it became the biggest stage worldwide. The seating plan hosted 8,000 seats, divided into six sectors.
However, the first season was brief, only eight days with five perfomances in total, three of Lucia di Lammermoor and two of Tosca. ‘An unforgettable performance within a frame which is unique in the world, so strikingly powerful that it seems real’, said the first words of an article in Il Giornale d'Italia on the 8th of August, 1937.
The following year, six operas were performed (La Gioconda, Mefistofele, Aida, Lohengrin, Isabeauconducted by Mascagni himself, and Turandot) with 28 performances all toghether, from June 30th to August 15th. The most substantial change was the new and final location of the stage inside the exedra of the calidarium with now a 20,000 people seating plan. The opera season was interrupted by 1944, during WWII. It reopened in 1945 in a triumphant way. From 1945 until 1993 it was a very important reference point for musical culture and perhaps the most evocative venues, among those for open air performances. Unfortunately on the 14th of August, 1993 the curtain was brought down for good over the theatre at the Terme di Caracalla.

 

Since 2001 operas have been performed at Terme di Caracalla with new logistics, where the monumental ruins are not anymore embedded into the stage, and thus into the performance; still, it is a unique and extraordinary frame for the Summer Teatro dell'Opera di Roma Opera and the Ballet Season.

 

How to reach Terme di Caracalla

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

 

METRO
Linea B -  CIRCO MASSIMO stop

 

BUS
Via Baccelli - 160
Via Terme di Caracalla - 118, 160, 628, 671, 714

TAXI
phone number - 06.3570

 
 
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