The Australian Ballet

Carmen

A seductive tale of betrayal and obsession

View performance times
  • Sydney / Warrang

    April 2024

  • Duration

    104 minutes / 1 interval

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Artist Jill Ogai leans back wearing a red dress, her arms seemingly floating against a dark backdrop.

Jill Ogai
Photo Simon Eeles

Artists Marcus Morelli holds Jill Ogai's leg, closely embracing from behind as they lean towards the stage floor together.

Jill Ogai and Marcus Morelli
Photo Simon Eeles

Johan Inger’s award-winning production of Carmen is an exhilarating journey that thrusts Georges Bizet’s 19th-century opera into the modern world with a breathtaking display of athleticism and passion.

Created in 2015, Inger’s contemporary retelling of Prosper Mérimée’s 1845 novella is a darkly compelling story of the dangerously seductive Carmen, whose love affair with Don José ends in brutal tragedy. Broadening its gaze beyond its fiery heroine, Inger’s Carmen is seen through the eyes of a boy bewildered by the ugly manifestations of machismo.

Using Georges Bizet's famous score, Inger has reimagined the classic opera, transporting it to dance in a fascinating production. Including sublime passages for soloists and duos and ensemble sequences of consummate virtuosity, Carmen brings you the heat of southern Spain in a powerfully unique production.

Content warning: Carmen contains mature adult themes including sexual content and depictions of violence, that some people may find disturbing.

Watch the trailer

Carmen 600x400

Jill Ogai and Marcus Morelli

Photo Simon Eeles

David Hallberg's insight

"Johan Inger made his mark with the company with I New Then, and Carmen will further showcase his unique contemporary eye. The story of Carmen is told in a very modern, arresting and alluring way and the title role is a dream for any artist to dance. I look forward to seeing the dancers tackle one of the most ambitious contemporary productions we’ve programmed.”

Synopsis and cast sheets

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Artist Jill Ogai dressed in a red dress pouts in a close shot of her face against a dark backdrop.

Jill Ogai
Photo Simon Eeles

Artist Marcus Morelli stands facing away in white shirt with his sleeves rolled up, looking back against a dark backdrop.

Marcus Morelli
Photo Simon Eeles

A ballet dancer standing in red dress on stage squeezes juice from a fruit into a male dancers mouth as he lay on the ground.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

A male ballet dancer dressed in dress pants and a white button up shirt holds his torso and legs contorted in the air with only his hands on the stage.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

A ballet dancer in red dress leans back arching her body backwards towards the stage floor, a male dancer in suit watching her.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

A ballet dancer in red dress is carried across the stage by a group of men, legs elongated to look as if she's leaping.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

A male ballet dancer with his shirt top removed embraces a ballet dancer in red dress intimately.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

A male ballet dancer leans back on stage, his arms raised in the air moving in unison.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Spain
Photo Jesús Vallinas

Production credits

Choreography Johan Inger
Assistant choreographers Toby Mallitt, Javier Rodríguez Cobos and Urtzi Aranburu
Dramaturg Gregor Acuña-Pohl
Music Rodion Shchedrin, after Georges Bizet, "Carmen Suite"
Georges Bizet, orchestrated by Álvaro Domínguez Vázquez, "Overture" and "Danse Bohème"
Additional original music Marc Álvarez

These performances of “Carmen Suite” by Georges Bizet (arranged by Rodion Shchredrin) are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd of London

Lighting design Tom Visser
Set design
Curt Allen Wilmer and Leticia Gañán (aapee) with Estudio DeDos
Costume design David Delfín
Costume design associate Maria Luisa Ramos

World première 9 April 2015, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, Spain, Compaňia Nacional de Danza Madrid

Music

Sydney
With Opera Australia Orchestra

Season 2024

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Artist Marcus Morelli dressed in a white shirt with sleeves rolled up, embraces Jill Ogai in a red dress intimately.