Greek National Opera |

Opera comique in three acts
Music Georges Bizet
Libretto Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halevy
Based on the novella by Prosper Merimee

Conducted by Elias Voudouris
Directed by Vassilis Nikolaides
Set design based on the 2002 set designs by Giorgos Gavalas Tota Pritsa
Costumes Claire Bracewell
Choreography Efi Karakosta

The Greek National Opera Orchestra and Choir

Choirmaster Nikos Vassiliou
Rosarte Children’s Choir – Conducted by Rosy Mastrosavva

Carmen Mary-Ellen Nesi (30 Apr., 3, 7 Μαy), Marita Paparizou (4, 6 Μay), Ines Zikou (5, 8 Μay)
Don Jose Rubens Pellizzari (30 Αpr., 3, 5 Μay), Zurab Zurabishvili (4, 7 Μay), Dimitris Sigalos (6, 8 Μay)
Escamillo Yannis Yannissis (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Kyros Patsalides (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Micaela Elena Kelessidi (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Maria Mitsopoulou (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Zuniga Tassos Apostolou (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Costas Dotsikas (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Frasquita Elpiniki Zervou (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Despina Skarlatou (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Mercedes Gogo Iliopoulou (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Maricia Papalexiou (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Morales Dionyssis Sourbis (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Akis Laloussis (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Dancaire Charis Andrianos (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Kostis Rasidakis (4, 6, 8 Μay)
Remendado Νikos Stefanou (30 Αpr., 3, 5, 7 Μay), Christos Kechris (4, 6, 8 Μay)

With the participation of dancers from the
Greek National Opera Ballet and Ballet School

Carmen is an opera comique in three acts, based on a libretto by Henry Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, which is in turn based on the 1845 novella of the same title by Prosper Merimee.

Carmen, a Gypsy, works at a tobacco factory in Seville, which is guarded by soldiers. The lieutenant of the dragoons accuses her of starting a fight, but she refuses to apologize. She seduces the corporal who is assigned with escorting her to prison: Don Jose, the fiance of the young peasant girl Micaela. Don Jose allows Carmen to escape and ends up behind bars himself. Later, Carmen convinces him to desert following an altercation he has with his lieutenant over her beautiful eyes. After all, his skills could be put to good use by the smugglers with whom she now works. But, she grows tired of Don Jose and turns her affections to the famous toreador Escamillo. One night, on the mountains where the smugglers are hiding their wares, Escamillo appears looking for Carmen, and so does Micaela, to tell Don Jose that his mother is dying. Don Jose warns Carmen that one day they shall meet again. Later, in Seville, he spots her outside the gates of the arena. He begs her to run away with him. When she rejects him, Don Jose stabs her and then turns himself in to the authorities.


Georges Bizet was born in Paris in 1838 and died in Bugival, just outside the French capital, in 1875. His first music teacher was his father, a singing instructor. He studied at the Paris Conservatory under Jacques Fromental Halevy, composer of the opera La Juive, and then went on to marry his daughter in 1869. Bizet also studied under Charles Gounod, who had a profound influence on his work. In 1857, when Bizet won the much-coveted Grand Prix de Rome, he had already composed the notable Symphony in C (which was not performed until 1935). When he returned from the Villa Medici to Paris, Bizet’s attention was on improving his scant finances. His opera The Pearl Fishers (1863) did not fare as well as he had expected. Following the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Bizet was assigned the post of choirmaster at the Paris Opera, though he opted instead for the position of rehearsal pianist at the Opera-Comique. In 1872 Bizet scored his first real success with the music he composed for a play based on the novel L’Arlesienne by Alphonse Daudet. In March 1875 he experienced the stormy premiere of Carmen but never got to see it become a success as he died just a few months later.
Carmen premiered at the Salle Favart in Paris in a production by the Opera-Comique in 1875. The title role was performed by Celestine Galli-Marie. The opera, however, did not meet with critical acclaim until it was produced in Vienna in 1875. For this production, Ernest Giraud replaced the dialogues with recitatives and also added dance scenes with music from other works by Bizet.
In Greece, the opera appears from sources to have been performed for the first time at the Municipal Theater of Patras in 1900/1. It was included on the Greek National Opera’s repertory in the 1941/2 season, with Kitsa Damasioti in the role of Carmen and the orchestra conducted by Antiochos Evangelatos.

30 April / 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 May 2011
Starts 20.00

Olympia Theatre
59 Akadimias st.
106 79 Athens
Tel. 2103643725

nearest metro station: “Panepistimio” (exit: “Library”)
Nearest stop “Panepistimio” exit “Library”

The theatre is in 100 m distance from the starting point of more than 30 buses to most destinations in Attica (on Akadimias st.)

Lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.

Ticket prices €80, €70, €60, €50, €40, €30, €20
Children, students €15

Tickets online

Tickets are on sale
At the OLYMPIA THEATER box office, Academias 59-61, Athens / Daily 9.00-21.00
Tel. sales 210 3662 100, 210 3612 461, 210 3643 725

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