Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

A co-production with Boston Lyric Opera and San Francisco Opera
Sung in French with English surtitles, provided by San Francisco Opera

BLO’s 40th Anniversary Season launches with the East Coast premiere of Calixto Bieito’s Carmen in a co-production with San Francisco Opera – marking the director’s long-awaited U.S. opera debut. Set in the arid earthiness of 1970’s post-Franco Spanish North Africa, this raw and cinematic vision is a powerful account of the defiantly free-spirited woman and her obsessive lover, set to Bizet’s intoxicating score.

Jennifer Johnson Cano, critically acclaimed for her star turn in BLO’s 2015 production of Don Giovanni, returns to Boston as the fiery, seductive gypsy who destroys the naïve soldier Don José, played by Roger Honeywell. Michael Mayes and Chelsea Basler return to BLO, and BLO Music Director David Angus conducts.


Conductor David Angus
Production Calixto Bieito*
Revival Director Joan Anton Rechi*
Set Designer Alfons Flores*
Costume Designer Mercè Paloma*
Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel
Associate Lighting Designer Amith Chandrashaker*
Fight Director Andrew Kenneth Moss
Wig And Makeup Designer Jason Allen


Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston MA


2 hours, 45 minutes including one intermission


Pre-Opera Talks are free to ticketholders and take place one hour before curtain

Please note: This production contains violence, nudity, and sexual content. Recommended for mature audiences only.

CAST in order of appearance

Yusef Lambert* as Lillas Pastia
Vincent Turregano† as Moralès
Chelsea Basler‡ as Micaëla
Liam Moran as Zuniga
Gina DeFreitas as Manuelita
Jennifer Johnson Cano as Carmen
Roger Honeywell as Don José
Lily Waters* as Girl
Kathryn Skemp Moran as Frasquita
Heather Gallagher‡ as Mercédès
Michael Mayes as Escamillo
Andrew Garland as El Dancairo
Samuel Levine as El Remendado
Junichi Fukuda* as Torero
Soldiers, children, cigarette girls, gypsies, smugglers

* Boston Lyric Opera Debut
† Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist
‡ Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist Alumnus


Act I

Outside a cigarette factory, men press forward to see the cigarette girls, especially the gypsy Carmen. She sings a habanera and throws a flower to Don José, a corporal in the Dragoons. He is perturbed, yet moved by her gesture. His fiancée Michaëla arrives, bringing greetings from his far-away mother. A furious fight, started by Carmen, breaks out in the factory. She is arrested and handed over to José. During the interrogation conducted by the lieutenant Zuniga, Carmen refuses to answer questions; instead, she cheekily sings to herself. Once alone wi