Best of: Carmen / Open Air on the parking deck

Georges Bizet [1838 – 1875]

Information on the piece

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

Recommended from 13 years on

approx. 100 minutes / no interval

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About the performance

It is hardly surprising that audiences at the first performances of CARMEN were left somewhat perplexed by Georges Bizet’s new opera. Instead of the exotic backdrops and romantic love stories that the composer had served up in his “Les pêcheurs de perles” they were ambushed by a shocking tale that featured only shady, unpleasant characters: soldiers and smugglers, factory girls and prostitutes, and an eponymous heroine who was radical in her rejection of all social norms and her insistence, even to the point of violence, on her right to sexual self-determination. Even more disturbing for audiences, however, might well have been the fact that a man of bourgeois stock becomes embroiled in a proletarian world of all things, a milieu in which the law of the jungle prevails. Because, despite Bizet’s opera being named after the main female character, the work actually centres on the moral and psychological decline of Don José. His love for Carmen spirals into a lethal state of jealousy.

This 100-minute-long abridged version of the opera heightens the focus on the transformation undergone by Don José, which is continually reflected in his head-to-heads with Carmen. The opera starts with a conscientious soldier being led astray and progresses to his declaration of love and the famous “Flower Aria” in Act 2 before ending in arguments, disappointment, rejection and a despair bordering on madness.


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Today in the foyer: "St. Nicholas is coming
17.00 h / Rank foyer on the right
Duration: approx. 25 minutes / free admission

The visit of Father Christmas is a cherished tradition at the Advent Calendar of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. This time we encourage our younger guests to get active themselves and share with us their favourite experiences from the past year. While enchanting music plays and Father Christmas is sure to have a sweet or two in his luggage, we invite you to take part in a small interactive activity. This year, our Father Christmas will be accompanied by the young Italian soprano Elisa Verzier.

In 2016 she made her debut at the Teatro Verdi di Trieste in Mendelssohn's EIN SOMMERNACHTSTRAUM and as Serpina in Paisiello's LA SERVA PADRONA. Her church music repertoire includes Mozart's "Coronation Mass", Handel's "Messiah", John Rutter's "Mass of the Children" and several pieces by Pergolesi, Schubert and Bach. Elisa Verzier has won numerous competitions. Her next engagements include Norina / DON PASQUALE in Trieste and La Contessa / LA SCUOLA DEI GELOSI in Turin. In the 2022/23 season she is engaged as a scholarship holder of the Förderkreis in the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she will sing Pamina / DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Marzelline / FIDELIO, Frasquita / CARMEN, Musetta / LA BOHÈME and Zerlina / DON GIOVANNI, among others.