Photo by Cory Weaver for LOKC

Bad Girls Make Good Opera.

In one of the most popular operas of all timeBizet’s free-spirited femme fatale, Carmen, is the kind of woman your mother warned you about. We meet Carmen as the soon-to-be-smitten soldier, Don José, is arresting her. So powerful and potent is Carmen’s beauty and passion that he impulsively leaves behind a career in uniform and follows her into a new life among her people: smugglers and fortune-tellers. But their budding romance ends as abruptly as it started when Carmen takes up with a bullfighter named Escamillo. Fueled by jealousy and obsession, Don José tracks her down and confronts her at a bullfight, where we’ll find out if she has one last trick up her sleeve.

Saturday, September 24, 2022 | 7:30 pm
Friday, September 30, 2022 | 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 2, 2022 | 2:00 pm

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COMPOSER Georges Bizet

LIBRETTO Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac

CONDUCTOR Roberto Kalb

DIRECTOR Anna Maria Bruzzese

Understand every word: Performed in French with English subtitles.

Read In-Depth Guide by Stu Lewis

Principal Cast

Carmen, Ginger Costa-Jackson
A regular at The Metropolitan Opera, Ginger Costa Jackson has performed Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Smeton (Anna Bolena). Other notable performances include Despina (Così fan tutte) with Opéra national de Paris, the title role in Carmen with San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, and New National Theatre, Tokyo, Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with Seattle Opera and Opéra national de Paris, and Angelina (Cinderella) for Seattle Opera. Future engagements include Musetta (La bohème) with Seattle Opera, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Teatro Petruzzelli, and her debut with Grange Park Opera as Charlotte (Werther).

Don José, Eric Fennel
Eric Fennell makes his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut singing Don José in Carmen. Career highlights include Alfredo (La traviata) at New York City Opera and Slovak National Theatre, The Duke (Rigoletto) at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Slovak National Theater, and Theater Bremen, Rodolfo (La bohème) at Mannheim National Theatre, New York City Opera, and Manitoba Opera, Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffman) at Teatro Di San Carlo, Staatstheater Mainz, and Hawaii Opera Theatre, Don José (Carmen) at Arizona Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, and Opernfestspiele St Margarethen, the title role in Faust at Opera Wrocławska, Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) at Utah Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Austin Lyric Opera, the title role in Werther at Staatstheater Braunschweig and Opera Zuid, Mitch (A Streetcar Named Desire) at Teatro Colón, and Prince (A Flowering Tree) at Göteborgsoperan.

Don José, Viktor Antipenko (Saturday, September 24 performance only)
In the 2022-2023 season, Russian-American tenor Viktor Antipenko debuts at Scottish Opera as Luigi (Il Tabarro), returns to Staatstheater Kassel as Hermann (Pique Dame), and Israeli Opera for his role debut as Manrico (Il Trovatore). Last season, he debuted with The Metropolitan Opera as Pinkerton (Madama Butterly), Israeli Opera as Radamès (Aida), and Arizona Opera as Don José (Carmen). Recent roles include Lesnky (Eugene Onegin), the title role in Lohengrin at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Andrey (Mazeppa), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Enzo Grimaldo (La Gioconda), Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), title role in Samson and Dalila at Tyrolean State Theatre, Siegmund (Die Walküre) and the title role in Parsifal at Theater Chemnitz, Erik (The Flying Dutchman) and Don José (Carmen) at Bolshoi Theatre, Don José (Carmen) at LOTTE Concert Hall. Future engagements are set in Seattle, Tokyo, Hamburg, Atlanta and Tel Aviv.

Escamillo, Richard Ollarsaba
Mexican American bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba represented the USA in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and was a grand finalist of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013. Engagements for the 2021-2022 season include the title role in Don Giovanni with Opera Grand Rapids and Opera Carolina, Mozart’s Requiem with Palm Beach Symphony, Count Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro) with Virginia Opera, and Schaunard (La bohème) with Jacksonville Symphony. Last season, he appeared in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s digital concert Pasión Latina and made his New Zealand Opera debut as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro.

Escamillo, Robert Mellon (Friday, September 30 performance only)
Baritone Robert Mellon made role and house debuts in the 2021-2022 season as Schaunard (La bohème) with San Diego Opera, Malatesta (Don Pasquale) with Opera Las Vegas, Figaro (The Barber of Seville) with Union Avenue Opera and Opera de Oviedo, Marcello in (La bohème) and Gubetta (Lucrezia Borgia). In 2022, Robert joins Pensacola Opera as Papageno (The Magic Flute), sings his first Iago (Othello) with InSeries Opera, and debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Marullo (Rigoletto). Robert sings the title role in Falstaff with Union Avenue Opera and Taddeo (L’Italiana in Algeri) with Tulsa OperaIn 2023, he returns to Pensacola Opera as Marcello (La Bohème), Germont (La Traviata) with Opera Las Vegas, Tonio (Pagliacci) with Opera Tampa, and George (Of Mice and Men) with Livermore Valley Opera.

Micaëla, Andrea Carroll
Soprano Andrea Carroll was a finalist in the 2015 Operalia, The World Opera Competition and is known for performances with Houston Grand Opera and Vienna State Opera. Recent roles include Norina (Don Pasquale), Musetta (La bohème), Adina (The Elixir of Love), and Kitty in the world premiere of Die Weiden by Johannes Maria Staud. She recently debuted with San Diego Opera, Den Norske Opera, Dallas Opera, Garsington Opera, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Wiener Musikverein. This season debuts with The Metropolitan Opera.

Creative Team

Conductor, Roberto Kalb
Mexican-born conductor Roberto Kalb makes 2022-2023 season debuts with San Francisco Opera, Ópera de Bellas Artes, and San Diego Opera. Last season marked a debut with Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, a return to Wolf Trap Opera (La traviata) and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings. In 2019, Kalb concluded his five-season tenure as resident conductor and head of music at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis with a critically acclaimed run of Rigoletto. Highlights include productions at Detroit Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Tulsa Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Opera Maine. Kalb is a recipient of the 2021 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

Director and Choreographer, Anna Maria Bruzzese
Anna Maria Bruzzese finished her education at the Accademia Regionale di Danza in Torino and launched her career as a dancer with Teatro Nuovo Torino Dance Company, a position she held through 1998. Since beginning work as choreographer and opera director in 2004, she has revived productions for theaters and festivals such as Teatro Regio Torino, Teatro Massimo, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Regio di Parma, Wiesbaden Festival, Opera Narodowa, and Washington National Opera. Bruzzese has directed the project Sipari Sociali, a project to introduce disadvantaged youth to theater, opera, and dance since 2013. Additionally, she joined the iSING! Festival faculty in 2019, where she directed the final gala performance in Suzhou, China. Her recent productions include Carmen (2015), I Pagliacci (2021), Cavalleria Rusticana (2022), and The Diary of Anne Frank (2022).

Show Photos

  • Photos by Cory Weaver

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