OA CarmenThe passion, heat and danger of Carmen will be brought to dazzling heights in John Bell’s acclaimed production in the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne from 4 May 2017.

Set against crumbling, monumental colonial architecture, this vibrant and colourful production will bring obsessions and love to the stage through traditional Spanish dance and a touch of contemporary breakdancing.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the psychology of that choice,” contemplates John Bell, who this year follows up his critically acclaimed Tosca with Bizet’s Carmen. “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.”

Conducted by Brian Castles-Onion, Bizet buffs and first-time opera-goers alike will be captivated by Carmen’s extraordinary score, bringing with it some of opera’s biggest names – Israeli born mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham (Carmen) and Ukrainian tenor Dmytro Popov (Don José) both return to the Opera Australia stage after starring in Carmen in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

The sets have been designed by Michael Scott-Mitchell, the brains behind the incredible sets of Tosca and The Elixir of Love. Carmen will take the audience to a once grand but now crumbling world featuring Havana-inspired bright colours, fluorescent piñata horses, cobblestone grounds and for a complete contrast, a red kombi van.

Teresa Negroponte’s costumes epitomise the colour and life of Carmen with punchy hot colours and a mix of 50’s cool and modern day designs with gangsters in bright jewel-toned suits and girls in sequins, turbans and furs, there’s plenty to take in.

Carmen is a must see opera, even if you’ve never set foot in an opera house,” said Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini. “If you’re new to opera, this production of Carmen is the perfect first show – the work itself is, of course is brilliant, the production values are second-to-none, and with the stellar Australian and international cast we have assembled, it’s an opera that can’t help but impress.”

Director: John Bell Starring: Stacey Alleaume, Jane Ede, Luke Gabbedy, Christopher Hillier, Shane Lowrencev, Sian Pendry, Dmytro Popov, Benjamin Rasheed, Rinat Shaham, Adrian Tamburini, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria Conductor: Brian Castles-Onion Set Designer: Michael Scott-Mitchell Costume Designer: Teresa Negroponte Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest Choreographer: Kelley Abbey Fight Choreographer: Nigel Poulton Assistant to Choreographer: Elysha Manik Revival Director: Roger Press

State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 4 – 26 May 2017

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Opera Australia presents Carmen (supplied)