The ultimate femme fatale returns in a provocative staging by acclaimed director Calixto Bieito. His raw take on Carmen heightens the intense emotions pulsing through this tale of love, lust and murder. The result is a powerful account of a free-spirited woman and her obsessive lover. Be swept into Carmen’s deadly seduction as never before.

Music by Georges Bizet | Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

Sung in French with English supertitles 


An evening of powerful, illuminating theater.

Los Angeles Times

Steamily provocative.

San Francisco Examiner

A harrowing triumph...this is a raw, emotionally confrontational Carmen, insisting that the audience look straight into the eye of passion’s pitiless storm.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Conductor Carlo Montanaro made a Company debut of fire and steel. The orchestral playing was fiercely on point, from the breathlessly fast and hard-edged prelude through the explosive conclusion.

San Francisco Chronicle

View More


A passionate gypsy seduces a Spanish soldier, resulting in emotional upheaval and, ultimately, the pair's doom.

Read Complete Synopsis ›

Cast & Creative

Carmen Irene Roberts 1
Carmen Ginger Costa-Jackson 2
Don José Brian Jagde
Don José Adam Diegel *3
Micaëla Ellie Dehn 1
Micaëla Erika Grimaldi *2
Escamillo Zachary Nelson *1
Escamillo Michael Sumuel 2
Frasquita Amina Edris*
Mercédès Renée Rapier
Moralès Edward Nelson
Zuniga Brad Walker*
El Dancairo Daniel Cilli*
El Remendado Alex Boyer*


May 27, 28, 29, 31
June 1, 17, 23, 26, 30
July 2, 3

Conductor Carlo Montanaro *
Conductor Jordi Bernàcer *4
Production Calixto Bieito *
Revival Director Joan Anton Rechi *
Set Designer Alfons Flores *
Lighting Designer Gary Marder
Costume Designer Mercè Paloma *
Chorus Director Ian Robertson
Fight Director Dave Maier

1 May 27, 29, June 1, 23, 26, July 2  
2 May 28, 31, June 17, 30, July 3  
3 May 28    
 July 3
 * San Francisco Opera Debut

Co-production with Boston Lyric Opera based on Bieito's production which originated at El Festival de Peralada in Catalonia and Opera Zuid in the Netherlands.

Previous performances of Carmen can be found in our Archive.

Program Articles

Unraveling the Enigma of Carmen

The title character of Bizet's Carmen is rife with contradiction and complexity. But most of all, argues writer Judith Malafronte, Carmen embodies freedom.

Primal Instinct

In an interview with writer Judith Malafronte, Carmen director Calixto Bieito delves deep into aspects of character, Carmen’s universal themes, and the creative process.

The Art of the Bullfight

“It is impossible to believe the emotional and spiritual intensity and the pure, classic beauty that can be produced by a man, an animal and a piece of scarlet serge,” Ernest Hemingway wrote in 1932.

TV and Radio Broadcasts

Did you miss your favorite opera or want to relive a stunning performance? Check for upcoming broadcasts of our past performances.

Explore the Archive

Our complete history of operas, casts, production teams and performance details—dating back to 1923—at your fingertips.

Made Possible By

Company Sponsors John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn are proud to support this production. Maestro Montanaro’s appearance is made possible by the Conductors Fund, and Mr. Jagde’s appearance is made possible by the Emerging Stars Fund, both established by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.