Photos: Get a 1st Look at Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera | Playbill

Production Photos Photos: Get a 1st Look at Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera

Carrie Cracknell's new production opens December 31.

Piotr Beczała and Aigul Akhmetshina in Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera Ken Howard / Met Opera

The Metropolitan Opera will ring in the new year with a new production of Bizet's Carmen, helmed by British director Carrie Cracknell. Performances begin December 31 and continue through January 27, 2024.

Mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina stars as Carmen, the cigarette-factory-worker-turned-smuggler who convinces the soldier Don José, played by tenor Piotr Beczała, to join her life of crime. Akhmetshina is a rising star at the Met, having just made her Met debut last year as Maddalena in Bartlett Sher's production of Rigoletto. Beczała is a Met veteran, having led New Year's Eve gala productions on three prior occasions, including Rigoletto in 2021 and Fedora in 2022. Rounding out the cast are soprano Angel Blue as Micaëla and Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo.

Cracknell's production moves the action from 19th century Spain to contemporary America, and accordingly, Escamillo, typically a toreador by trade, will be portrayed as a rodeo star.

Get a first look at the new production in the photo gallery below.

See Production Photos of the Metropolitan Opera's New Carmen

Cracknell, who makes her Met debut with this production, leads a creative team including set designer Michael Levine, costume designer Tom Scutt, lighting designer Guy Hoare, projection designer Roland Horvath, and choreographer Ann Yee. All except Levine will also be making their Met debuts. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet's score, one of opera's most enduring due to its high concentration of iconic tunes.

The production will return for a second run of performances in April, with a new cast including Clémentine Margaine as Carmen, Michael Fabiano as Don José, Ailyn Pérez as Micaëla, and Ryan Speedo Green as Escamillo.

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