Acclaimed director Carrie Cracknell’s production stars mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, making Met history as the youngest lead in a new staging of Carmen.
The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023–24 Live in HD season continues with a live transmission of Bizet’s ever-popular Carmen on Saturday, January 27, at 19:55 at Rialto Theatre. In her highly anticipated Met debut, English director Carrie Cracknell reinvigorates the classic story of deadly passion with a new staging that moves the action to the modern day and explores themes that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries.
The production stars young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, who made headlines in 2018 as the youngest artist ever to sing the title role at London’s Royal Opera House, at just 21 years old, and who now makes Met history as the youngest lead in a new staging of Carmen at the age of 27. World-renowned tenor Piotr Beczała also stars as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, alongside soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Maestro Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s timeless score, which includes some of the most famous arias in opera, such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song.
Cracknell’s creative team includes veteran set designer Michael Levine. Making their Met debuts are costume designer Tom Scutt, lighting designer Guy Hoare, projection designer Rocafilm/Roland Horvath, and choreographer Ann Yee.
Gary Halvorson will direct the Live in HD presentation for cinemas, with Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham as host, providing exclusive behind-the-scenes access and conducting interviews with the cast and creative team during intermission.
“A DARING NEW PRODUCTION OF CARMEN TAKES FLIGHT … Mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina made a magnetic … Carmen … A restless physicality that never cut into her singing … A Carmen that felt alive.”—The Washington Post
“Akhmetshina has an ideal voice for Carmen … Great technical command and musical suppleness … Act four was thrilling, the production ramping up to an intense and brutal climax … ★★★★”—Financial Times
“Akhmetshina has the vocal goods—a throaty, low sound with a hint of steel … Cast standouts included Kyle Ketelsen’s Escamillo, whose crisp diction and snappy delivery galvanized attention, and Angel Blue’s poignant yet strong-minded Micaëla.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“A magnetic Aigul Akhmetshina … truly impressive. She seems unfazed by the pressure, singing with easily penetrating evenness and clarity.”—The New York Times
“Not your grandmother’s Carmen … A fresh twist on Bizet’s tragic love story.”
“Akhmetshina brings a fresh, ferocious energy … Also marks the Met début of Carrie Cracknell, a British phenom whose spare productions of Greek tragedies have earned her a reputation as a deft and sensitive interpreter of complicated women’s stories.”
—The New Yorker
The 2023–24 Live in HD season continues with La Forza del Destino (March 16), Madama Butterfly (May 11), Roméo et Juliette (September 14), and La Rondine (September 28). All performances will be on Saturday matinees transmitted live from the Rialto Theatre stage.
Major Sponsors: OPAP CYPRUS, MEDOCHEMIE, ATLAS PANTOU, ISLAND OIL
Theatre Sponsor: CROWN Plaza
Media Sponsor: VESTNIK KIPRA
January 27 2024 | Saturday 19:55 (224’)
E-ticket: €20/15 www.rialto.com.cy
Or box office 77777745
(Monday – Friday 10:00- 15:00)