Carmen at the Opéra Comique
Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris
Capacity 1200 seats
For all audiences
In French surtitled in French and English
Highlights: Carmen at the Opéra Comique
A young girl working as a cigar-makeress in Seville, with a brazen disposition and fiery character, falls in love with a handsome and dark brigadier. In the midst of her profound passion, she sings "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"... perhaps you recognize our titular leading lady? It is of course Carmen - the beautiful heroine of Bizet's four-act comic opera, featuring a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, and based on the short story by Prosper Mérimée. Carmen returns to the Opéra Comique, the very place where this opera, now one of the most performed in the world, was created and premiered! The beautiful Carmen is back home in Paris, and it is the sublime Gaëlle Arquez, the rising French mezzo-soprano, who embodies this fabled figure of the opera.
Story: Carmen at the Opéra Comique
“Carmen will never surrender, born free, free will she die!” cries Bizet’s heroine to Don José at the end of the opera. This irrepressible freedom, coupled with a need to live ever more intensely, is strongly present in this production of Carmen. With Mérimée, Bieito retains the burning temperament of a woman who lives by small-time trafficking. A test for the ages in this timeless piece, the rebel bird Carmen is essentially a creature of our own times; a brazen and indomitable seductress and a product of social and masculine brutality, she lives life in the fast lane, avid for existence.
A violent passion, crushed by the Spanish sun: upon this framework based on the work by Prosper Mérimé, Georges Bizet writes expressive, elegant, and colorful music alternating dramatic and light passages with scientific precision. Viva la Carmencita. Olé!
If you take a walk in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, you will be delighted to discover in the small, quaint Place Boieldieu, a superb building of beautiful proportions topped by six caryatids: the Opéra Comique, a theatre house in Paris, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015. You will be surprised to learn that this gold and red auditorium, also known as Salle Favart, is considered the first modern theatre in France because it was the first to be designed with fully electric equipment for both public and stage lighting.
That doesn’t rest as the only surprise… Despite its name, the Opéra Comique doesn’t only perform comic operas, a particular kind of musical show that mixes sung arias with spoken theatre (the ancestor of the musical), but a wide range of operas as well! It was in this venue that works that are now internationally known were created, such as Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, Delibes's Lakmé, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande... but also Massenet's Manon and Bizet's Carmen! This hall has welcomed the finest composers and never ceased to welcome works from the contemporary repertoire. Viva la musica! Viva l'opera!
Fast facts Capacity: 1,200 seats Handicap Accessible: Yes Air conditioning: No Chauffage: Yes
How do I get to the Opéra Comique?
The Opéra Comique is accessible by: Metro lines: You can take lines 8 and 9 to Richelieu - Drouot, line 3 to Quatre-Septembre, or the RER A to Auber. Bus lines: You can take the bus to the Richelieu - Drouot stop served by lines 20, 32, 39, 29, 45, 74, and 89. Our customer service can be reached in case of difficulty from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday. For more information, please consult the map above.