Love, jealousy, intrigue and murder among toreros, bandits and gypsies in Spain. Who could ask for more? Bizet’s masterpiece is the most popular opera of all time, and for good reason. Who hasn’t heard such hit tunes as the Habanera, Toreador song or Seguidilla? When it premiered in Paris, the opera was a shocker. Audiences protested the salacious themes of the story, and especially the wantonness of its lead character, a woman who flagrantly flits from lover to lover. Carmen has more personality quirks than an Indie movie star. She’s courageous, independent and fiery. She’s also an egregiously unapologetic liar and a thief. Her exploits are hard to resist, especially by the unsuspecting males she seduces. In the beginning, her prey is low-on-the-totem-pole soldier Don José, who falls for her in a big way, only to be sucked into her illicit dealings with her smuggler friends. Next on her list is sexy, celebrated bullfighter Escamillo. But that escapade turns out be Carmen’s final, and fatal, mistake. Her outrageous behavior infuriates Don José, and in a fit of jealous rage he murders the one woman who has captured his heart and soul more than any other. This is the stuff of great, timeless drama. And we love it.

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