About the show

Act One – Seville

Micaëla enters searching for Don José, but he is not amongst the soldiers on duty. The cigarette workers come out for their break, Carmen amongst them. Micaëla returns with a letter from Don José’s mother, which dispels his thoughts of Carmen and reminds him of his love for Micaëla. Screams erupt from the factory, where Carmen has attacked another worker. She is arrested and Don José is left to guard her. Carmen convinces Don José to help her escape, promising a night of love in return.

Act Two – Lillas Pastia’s Tavern

Don José has just finished a prison sentence for his part in Carmen’s escape. Escamillo, the celebrated toreador and his group pass by. Carmen and Escamillo are attracted to one another. A band of smugglers arrive, and ask the gypsy girls to join them. Carmen refuses as she is waiting for Don José. He finally arrives, but shortly is recalled to the barracks. Carmen angrily accuses him of being more dedicated to duty than to love. Don José protests his devotion. Zuniga, Don José’s officer, enters looking for Carmen. A fight erupts between the two men. After this act of mutiny, Done José has no choice but to join up with Carmen and the smugglers.

Act Three – Smugglers’ Hideout

Don José is still infatuated with Carmen, but is brooding over the life he has sacrificed for her. Carmen has lost interest in Don José. Carmen then foresees her death in the cards. Micaëla arrives to see Don José. Escamillo has also made his way to the hideout, seeking Carmen. A fight begins between the rival lovers, which is stopped by Carmen’s return. Escamillo leaves, inviting the whole group to his next bullfight. Micaëla implores Don José to return home. He eventually agrees, warning Carmen that they will meet again.

Act Four – Seville

Escamillo and Carmen arrive at the bullfight. Carmen’s friend warns her that Don José is lurking in the crowd, but she is not intimidated. Don José confronts Carmen outside the ring and desperately begs her to begin a new life with him. A chant goes up for Escamillo inside the ring, but Don José blocks Carmen’s way. Carmen takes Don José’s ring from her finger and throws it to the ground. Don José murders Carmen.



Composer – Georges Bizet
Libretto – Ludovic Halevy & Henri Meilhac
Conductor – Antony Walker
Director – Lindy Hume
Set Designer – Dan Potra
Costume Designer – Vicki Feitscher
Lighting Designer – Stephen Wickham
Lighting realized by – Matthew Marshall
Carmen – Milijana Nikolic
Don José – Paul O’Neill
Escamillo – James Clayton
Micaëla – Emma Pearson
Zuniga – Paull-Anthony Keightley
Moralès – Sam Roberts-Smith
Frasquita – Rebecca Castellini
Mercédès – Fleuranne Brockway
Dancaïre – Mark Alderson
Remendado – Matt Reuben James Ward
Lillas Pastia – Michael Loney

West Australian Opera Chorus
West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Show Imagery