• Carmen, © Photo: Ennevi | Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona
  • Carmen, © Photo: Ennevi | Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona
  • Arena di Verona, © Photo: Ennevi | Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona

Carmen: Arena di Verona

Verona, Arena di Verona

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About the Event

Bizet's 'Carmen' comes to the Arena of Verona in a production directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

'Carmen' is one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the repertoire. Zeffirelli offers a spectacular staging, fitting to the grand stage at Arena di Verona.

'Carmen' is an opera in four acts by the French composer Georges Bizet, based on Prosper Merimee’s novella of the same name. Written in the opera comique tradition, musical movements are interrupted by spoken dialogue. When it premiered at the Opera‐Comique in 1875, this groundbreaking opera shocked a public unready for its realism, and unused to seeing the lives of the lower classes being shown on stage. However, within ten years the tragic and passionate 'Carmen' had taken its place at the centre of the operatic canon, forming a bridge between opera comique and the fast‐emerging verismo style.

Act 1
Seville, Spain. The provocative gypsy, Carmen, works in the cigarette factory. When the women take their break, Carmen sings a ‘Habanera’ attracting the attention of all the men in the square. Only a soldier, Don José, isn’t interested in her. Piqued, Carmen deliberately throws a flower to him. A quarrel breaks out between the women. Carmen is arrested, but seduces Jose into releasing her, and escapes. José is imprisoned for allowing her to escape.

Act 2
A month later, José has just been released, and goes to meet Carmen at a tavern. With her flower in his hand, José tells her his feelings. Carmen convinces José not to report for roll call, but to stay with her and join the smugglers.

Act 3
José regrets joining the smugglers. Carmen is already in love with another man — Escamillo, a bullfighter. Carmen reads the cards and forsees a dark future.
José's childhood friend, Micaela, comes to look for him to tell him that his mother is seriously ill. José decides to go home.
The following month, Escamillo, now Carmen’s lover, is welcomed by the spectators and enters the arena. Carmen remains in the square, and José appears. He demands Carmen leaves with him, but she refuses, throwing away the ring that José once gave her. In a jealous rage, José stabs Carmen to death with a dagger, and as the crowds exit the arena, confesses to his actions.

Practical Information

Included are:
- Ticket to the opera performance in the chosen category
- two months of free, no‐obligation access to a premium classical music streaming service
- self‐guided audio tour of Verona in English at no extra cost to you


  • Bizet, Georges – Carmen
Program is subject to change

Cast / Production

Marco Armiliato
Regia e Scene
Franco Zeffirelli
Anna Anni

Choreography El Camborio wiederbelebt von Lucia Real
Arena di Verona Orchestra, Chorus, Corps de Ballet and Technical team
Chorus Master
Ulisse Trabacchin
Ballet coordinator Gaetano Petrosino
Children's choir A.LI.VE. conducted by Paolo Facincani
With the extraordinary participation of Compañia Antonio Gades
Artistic director Stella Arauzo

Clémentine Margaine (17, 24, 30/6)
J'Nai Bridges (14, 21, 31/7)
Elīna Garanča (11, 14/8)
Yulia Matochkina (27/8)
Karen Gardeazabal (17, 24/6)
Gilda Fiume (30/6 – 14/7)
Maria Teresa Leva (21, 31/7 – 11, 14/8)
Lavinia Bini (27/8)
Caterina Sala (17, 24, 30/6 – 14/7 – 11, 14/8)
Daniela Cappiello (21, 31/7 – 27/8)
Caterina Dellaere (17, 24, 30/6 – 11, 14/8)
Clarissa Leonardi (14, 21, 31/7 – 27/8)
Don José
Brian Jagde (17, 24, 30/6 – 11, 14/8)
Vittorio Grigolo (14/7 – 27/8)
Roberto Alagna (21, 31/7)
Luca Micheletti (17, 24, 30/6)
Gëzim Myshketa (14, 21, 31/7)
Claudio Sgura (11, 14, 27/8)
Nicolò Ceriani (17, 24, 30/6 – 11, 14/8)
Jan Antem (14, 21, 31/7 – 27/8)
Carlo Bosi (17, 24, 30/6 – 11, 14/8)
Vincent Ordonneau (14, 21, 31/7 – 27/8)
Gabriele Sagona
Biagio Pizzuti (17, 24/6 – 11, 14/8)
Alessio Verna (30/6 – 14, 21, 31/7 – 27/8)


Arena di Verona, Piazza Bra 28, Verona, Italy — Google Maps

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