Four Acts Opera Carmen, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, is the final work of the French composer Georges Bizet and also known as the most prestigious work of the French romantic opera in the 19th century. In its initial run at the Opéra-Comique in March 1875, Carmen provoked little public enthusiasm, which put Bizet in great misery and despair. Bizet died suddenly of heart disease the day after the opera's 33rd performance, unaware that the work would achieve huge success with its production by the Vienna Court Opera in October 1875, just half a year after Carmen's premiere in Paris. Carmen has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon.
The Carmen is coproduced by the Shanghai Opera House, Opera Hong Kong and Slovene National Theatre, with Philippe Arlaud as the stage director, set and lighting designer. This production of Carmen premiered at Hong Kong Cultural Center in May 2012 and then had its first debut in mainland China at Shanghai Culture Square in June 2012. It has been performed many times at various major theatres in China and was presented at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in July 2016 as the closing performance of Shanghai Opera House’s 2015/2016 Performance Season. The SOH’s production of Carmen had won great acclaims in China and each performance put up for public sale was immediately snapped up.
Don José, a naïve soldier, is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart Micaëla and is arrested for dereliction of his military duties. After José is released from two month's detention, he has no choice but to join Carmen and smugglers. Yet it turns out that José loses Carmen's love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo. Intolerant of watching his much-beloved woman cheering for the triumph of the toreador, José stabs Carmen in a jealous rage.
Stage Director / Set Designer / Lighting Designer:
Philippe Arlaud studied art history and completed artistic training at the École Supérieure d’Art Dramatique of the National Theatre in Strasburg. Since then he has devoted himself to stage managing opera and straight theatre in the widest sense of the word. For his productions, he not only creates the scenery but also the light design. Arlaud has directed several operas and he has been artistic director of the Feldkirch Festival since 2006. He also plays an active role in the training of young artists. He teaches at the École Supérieure d’Art Dramatique du Théâtre national in Strasbourg, at the University of Graz and at the University for Visual Arts in Hamburg. Arlaud was the only French director apart from Patrice Chéreau in the 140 years of the history of the Bayreuth Festival.
Conductor: Jean-Yves Ossonce
Composer: Georges Bizet
Librettist: Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
Revival Director: Shen Liang
Carmen: Carmen Topciu
Don José: Han Peng
Escamillo: Zhang Feng
Micaëla: Xu Xiaoying
Shanghai Opera House is the official government-funded western-style opera company of Shanghai, China, and the resident opera company at the new Shanghai Grand Theatre. Although the term "Opera House" is often applied to the building, both in English and Chinese texts, officially the building is not an opera house and the term "Shanghai Opera House" properly applies only to the performing company, not the building, as is also true for its senior sister company, the China National Opera House (CNOH) in Beijing.