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Carmen

Music by George Bizet and Rodion Shchedrin

Choreography by Emrys Goldsworthy

Act 1 - Square in Seville

Interval - 20 minutes

Act 2 - Lillas Pastia's Cantina

Interval - 20 minutes

Act 3 - A Wild Spot in the Mountains

Interlude - 5 minutes (stay seated)

Act 4 - Outside the Bullring

CAST

Synopsis

Act 1 - Square in Seville

Morning breaks in Seville, the ladies from the cigarette factory are on a break while Don José arrives with his corporal. Carmen and her friends talk about seducing one of the soldiers. Carmen picks José, but he is promised to Micaëla and ignores her advances. Micaëla arrives looking for José, she has news from his mother that she wishes them to be married. José is elated at this news and dances with Micaëla in celebration. Afterwards, a scream is heard from the cigarette factory, all the ladies run out followed by Carmen who is holding a knife. José goes to question Carmen and finds blood on her hands. She has just been in a fight with another factory worker. He goes to arrest her, but she breaks away and proclaims her innocence. She dances around and with José, enticing him to set her free. José eventually ties her wrists, but Carmen won't take no for an answer, she beguiles him with a sultry dance. She promises José a night with her at the local inn if he unties her. Confused, but infatuated with her, José agrees. Carmen then pushes him to the ground and runs off laughing. José is arrested for letting a prisoner go. 

Interval - 20 minutes

Act 2 - Lillas Pastia's Cantina

2 months have past, Carmen learns of José's release from jail. The ladies arrive at the cantina for drinks to celebrate his release. Lillas Pastia starts to clean up, but is interrupted by Carmen and the ladies. Lillas sees Carmen's hand and sees danger in her palm lines. She asks to read her tarot. The cards show that she will fall in love and travel far and wide, but the last card tells of her impending death. Carmen is shocked and dismayed by this foretelling, but she dismisses it as folly. Micaëla arrives looking for José, followed by the entrance of the toreador, Escamillo, everyone at the cantina raises their glass to the local hero. Escamillo falls for Carmen, but she brushes him aside. He tries to entice Micaëla, but she too is not interested and decided to leave the cantina. Carmen's friends join Escamillo for more frivolity elsewhere. Finally, José arrives holding the rose Carmen gave him. Carmen falls in love with José and he gives her a ring as a symbol of his love for her. Carmen responds to this gesture by treating José to an exotic dance with her tambourine. Her friends return with news of an encampment in the mountains away from the law, that Carmen keeps evading. She pleads with José to leave his post and come with her. Deeply infatuated, he agrees.

Interval - 20 minutes

Act 3 - A Wild Spot in the Mountains

A few weeks have past and Carmen has grown bored of José and tells him scornfully that he should go back to his mother. Frasquita and Mercédès amuse themselves by reading their fortunes from the cards; Carmen joins them and finds that the cards are foretelling José's death. José dismisses this idea. Carmen, now with the prospect of his death and her own, warms to being with José. Micaëla arrives in secret to find José, but upon hearing a gunshot she hides in fear; it is José, who has fired at an intruder who proves to be Escamillo. José's pleasure at meeting the bullfighter turns to anger when Escamillo declares his infatuation with Carmen. The pair fight, but are interrupted by the returning locals. As Escamillo leaves he invites everyone to his next bullfight in Seville. Micaëla comes out of hiding; at first, José will not leave with her despite Carmen's mockery, but he agrees to go when told that his mother is dying. He departs, vowing he will return.

5 minute interlude for scene change, please stay seated. 

Act 4 - Outside the Bullring

The crowd awaits the arrival of Escamillo the Toreador. Frasquita and Mercédès enter as part of the procession. Carmen joins Escamillo as his consort, but as the crowd enters the bullring, she is confronted by José. Riddled with jealousy and hate, José pleads for her to return to him. She pushes him away with disdain and contemptuously throws down the ring he gave her. José fills with rage and stabs Carmen. Shocked and horrified at his actions, José pleads for forgiveness and tries to keep Carmen alive, but she has died. As the crowd starts to leave the bullring, José flees as Escamillo and the crowd run to Carmen's side.

 

The End.

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