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

Carmen at Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2024

Verona, Arena di Verona

Seating plan Best seats  4 h Give as a gift card

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Total Price
$ 221

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
- One month's free access to a premium classical music streaming service
- self‐guided audio tour of Verona in English


  • Georges Bizet – Carmen
Program is subject to change

Cast / Production


Leonardo Sini 5, 13, 20, 25 July, 3, 0, 17, 23 August
Daniel Oren 7 September

Aigul Akhmetshina 5, 13 July
Clémentine Margaine 20, 25 July, 3, 17, 23 August
Alisa Kolosova 8 August

Kristina Mkhitaryan 5 July
Daria Rybak 13, 20 July
Aleksandra Kurzak 25 July, 23 August
Pretty Yende 3, 8 August
Mariangela Sicilia 17 August, 7 September

Daniela Cappiello 5 July, 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September
Chiara Maria Fiorani 13, 20, 25 July

Alessia Nadin 5, 13, 20, 25 July, 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Francesco Meli 5, 20 July, 3, 8, 17 August, 7 September
Freddie De Tommaso 13 July
Roberto Alagna 25 July, 23 August

Erwin Schrott 5, 13 July
Luca Micheletti 20, 25 July
Ludovic Tézier 3 August
Dalibor Jenis 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Jan Antem 5, 13, 20, 25, July 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Vincent Ordonneau 5, 13, 20, 25, July 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Gabriele Sagona 5, 13, 20, 25, July 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Fabio Previati 5, 13, 20, 25, July 3, 8, 17, 23 August, 7 September

Arena di Verona

The Arena di Verona is the third largest Roman amphitheatre still standing. Built around 30 AD, the Arena is also among the best-preserved amphitheatres of the period. Its gigantic dimensions (140 meters long and 100 meters wide), and seating for over 30,000 spectators, ensure it dominates the northern part of Piazza Bra. Excellent acoustics and a fabulous location make it an ideal venue for large-scale opera performances. The monument was re-established as a theatre during the Renaissance, and in 1913 the tradition of opera at the Arena di Verona began with a production of Giuseppe Verdi's 'Aida'.

Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet devoted his relatively short life of 36 years to the musical theatre. The opera Carmen, pearl of his oeuvre, is still one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. He was born in 1838 into a musically educated family – his father was a singing teacher and his mother a professional piano player. At the age of 4, young George could already read notes and play the piano, and six years later he became enrolled at the Paris Conservatory. After finishing his studies, Bizet won the prestigious Prix de Rome for his cantata Clovis et Clotilde, that allowed him to work solely on his own compositions for five years. He spent four rather carefree years in Italy from 1857 to 1860 where he travelled, composed and developed his talent. After coming back to Paris, he faced struggles and found it very difficult to achieve recognition for his music. In order to make a living, he gave private lessons, composed light entertaining music and made arrangements of piano works by other composers. In fact, he could have easily become a successful pianist as he was a virtuoso piano player and once impressed Franz Liszt himself with the performance of one of Liszt’s piano compositions. But Georges Bizet did not look for a way to make easy money and was adamant about his intention to only compose music. In 1872 he wrote two operas, Djamileh and L’Arlesienne, which were received very coldly but now are considered to be a representation of Bizet’s artistic maturity. Soon before his death in 1875, Carmen premiered in the Opera Comique, but the audience’s verdict was rather negative. Never having witnessed public acclaim during his life, George Bizet now is one of the most famous opera composers in history.


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

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