Opera Australia Carmen photo by Keith SaundersThe passion, heat and danger of Bizet’s Carmen will be brought to dazzling heights in John Bell’s new production, currently playing at the Sydney Opera House.

Tackling the gritty tale of power, corruption and destruction, and set against crumbling, monumental colonial architecture, this vibrantly colourful show will bring obsessions and love to the stage through Spanish dance and contemporary breakdancing.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the psychology of that choice,” says John Bell, who follows up critically acclaimed Tosca with Carmen this Sydney Winter season. “What leads you to love the one person who is going to destroy you? Carmen is colourful, physical and entertaining, but it shouldn’t get ‘too pretty’. To succeed, it must have punch. Sex and sexual politics. Physicality and power.”

This entirely new production of Carmen, commissioned by Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini will be seen for the first time in Sydney, bringing with it some of opera’s biggest names – French singer Clémentine Margaine and Australian favourite Milijana Nikolic (Carmen), and thrilling Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee and the power of tenor Brandon Jovanovich (Don José).

The sets have been designed by Michael Scott-Mitchell, the brains behind the incredible sets of Tosca and The Elixir of Love. Carmen will invite viewers into a once grand but now crumbling world featuring Havana-inspired bright colours, cobblestone grounds and pale blue combi vans.

Teresa Negroponte’s costumes don’t shy away from the colour and life of Carmen with punchy hot colours and a mix of 50’s cool and modern day clothing. Featuring gangsters in bright jewel-toned suits and girls in sequins, turbans and furs, there’ll be plenty to watch.

One hundred and forty-one years after its premiere, Carmen remains one of the world’s favourite operas, continuing to inspire contemporary music, fashion and film. Conducted by Andrea Mollino and then Brian Castles-Onion, Bizet buffs and first-time opera goers alike can sit back and take in the extraordinary score.

Carmen is a must see opera, even if you’ve never set foot in an opera house,” said Lyndon Terracini. “If you’re new to opera, this new production of Carmen is the perfect first show – the work itself is, of course brilliant, the production values are second-to-none and with the stellar Australian and international the cast we have assembled, it’s an opera that is set to impress.”

Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Season continues to 12 August 2016

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Opera Australia’s new production of Carmen – photo by Keith Saunders