With audio description


Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875)

19:30 - 22:30
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
Information about the work

Opéra comique in four acts by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy,
based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée
First performed on 3rd March 1875, in Paris
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 20th January 2018

3 hrs / 1 interval

In French with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 14 years
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Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V. The children's chorus is sponsored by Dobolino e.V.

19:30 - 22:30
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
the content

About the work
Georges Bizet’s titular heroine is as captivating a character as any in the history of opera. The different interpretations of Carmen are legion: we have the seductress, the personification of forbidden yearning, the standard bearer for the “eternally female” in the brutal battle of the sexes, the anarchist unfettered by bourgeois angst and compulsions, the archaic clairvoyante seeing her own death in the cards - yet free, as she does not dread her destiny. Few opera heroines are so open to interpretation and hence so able to serve as a mirror held up to society.

With CARMEN Bizet was throwing down the gauntlet to Romantic opera. His naturalistic presentation of a proletarian milieu with its poverty and crime was a direct challenge to the conventions of opera. It is a setting in which Don José’s dreams are doomed to be dashed. His fixation on Carmen sucks him into a pit of wretchedness and felony and he persistently rejects his chance to lead a steady, secure life with Micaëla the peasant girl.

This clash of principles – feminine versus masculine; bourgeoisie versus anarchy – is illustrated by the bullfighting scene, which is much more than a colourful bit of folklore used as a backdrop to the storyline; it is a gory ritual involving the survival of the fittest, where no quarter is given.

About the production
In his version Norwegian director Ole Anders Tandberg has embraced the unique blend of great opera, working-class tragedy and overstoked operetta. He packs his triumphant ramped-up production with emotional realism, bloody corrida symbolism and grotesque, Tarantino-esque scenes of absurd cruelty. And the iconic character of the work is playfully reflected in the opulent Andalusian garb of Carmen and Escamillo.

Tandberg is interested in the eponymous heroine’s openness and the mystery surrounding her. He sees in her not just the seer, the anarchist or the focus of male gaze but also a person playing these different roles for fear of emotional injury, a woman who is led by Don José’s true love to glimpse, at least for isolated moments, behind the façade of her own Carmen poses.

Our articles on the subject

Victims everywhere we look
Dr Takt on Georges Bizet: “Carmen”, Prélude / bar 1


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Advents-Verlosung: Das 2. Fensterchen

In today's Advent calendar window, we are giving away 3 DVDs of "Der Schatzgräber" - an opera in a prelude, four acts and a postlude by Franz Schreker. If you would like to win one of the three DVDs, please send an e-mail today with the subject "The 2nd window" to advent@deutscheoperberlin.de.

DER SCHATZGRÄBER (THE TREASURE HUNTER) by Franz Schreker was a triumph at its world premiere in Frankfurt in 1920 and went on to play 44 times at assorted venues over the next five years. It then fell victim to a shifting zeitgeist and slipped from opera-house programmes, with a National Socialist ban on performances sealing its demise. Even after 1945 the Schreker revival was a long time coming – and THE TREASURE HUNTER has not featured prominently in the renaissance.

As with the vast majority of Schreker’s libretti, the story of Els and Elis explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, between art and life. Soulmates in the sense that they are both at the mercy of the king’s disposition, Els and Elis set off in search of different treasures. Elis, the minstrel, uses his magic lute to locate a stash of jewels and do humanity a good turn. Els, an innkeeper’s daughter who has grown up motherless in a tough, male-chauvinist world, becomes a liar, cheat and murderess in pursuit of her goal, tasking her suitors to steal the queen’s jewels and then having them killed once they have returned with the haul of treasure. Yet even with the gold in their possession, the pair are not content, and so, true to form, Schreker turns his attention to the theme of yearning per se, which is the actual “treasure” that the composer is interested in, “a dream of happiness and redemption”. Elis and Els are caught up in a swirl of dreams, memories, premonitions, songs and music. Their stories take on a dreamlike quality in a world beset by greed, murder and emotional inconstancy. For Franz Schreker the path to redemption could only be via art. Composed during the turmoil of the First World War, the TREASURE HUNTER score amounts to Schreker’s personal confession of artistic faith, executed in florid strokes of late-Romantic musical colour.

Conductor Marc Albrecht; Staging Christof Loy; Set design Johannes Leiacker; Costume design Barbara Drosihn; With Tuomas Pursio, Doke Pauwels, Clemens Bieber, Michael Adams, Joel Allison, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Seth Carico, Daniel Johansson, Gideon Poppe, Stephen Bronk, Elisabet Strid, Patrick Cook, Tyler Zimmerman a. o.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Closing date: 2 December 2023, the winners will be informed by email on 4 December 2023. The DVDs will then be sent by post. Legal recourse is excluded.