Photo by Cory Weaver. Everest, 2018.


If you’re not wrapped around her finger, check under her heel.


April 24, 2021 | 7:30 PM
April 28, 2021 | 7:30 PM
April 30, 2021 | 7:30 PM
May 2, 2021| 2:00 PM

At the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts


Approximate running time is 3 hours with one intermission.

The Story

Bizet’s free-spirited feminist fatale is the kind of woman your mother warned you about—and secretly wanted to be. We meet Carmen as she’s arrested by the soon-to-be-smitten soldier, Don Jose. So potent is her beauty and passion that he lets her escape, leaves behind a career in uniform, and follows her into a new life among her people: smugglers and fortune tellers. After a tarot card reading foretells death for both Carmen and Jose, their budding romance becomes Fortune’s first victim, when she takes up with a bullfighter named Escamillo. Fueled by jealousy and obsession, Jose tracks her to a bullfight and confronts her. Here, we’ll find out if the ever-cunning Carmen can pull off one more daring escape, or if her fate is as inevitable as she feared.

Understand Every Word

 Carmen will be sung in French with English subtitles.

Pre-Opera Talk

Arrive early to enjoy a FREE Pre-Opera Talk before each Lyric Opera performance at the Kauffman Center, sponsored by the Lyric Opera Guild.

Pre-opera talks start one hour before curtain and last about 30 minutes.


Photos of the show

  • Photo by Cory Weaver.
    Photo by Cory Weaver.

Principal Cast

Carmen – Ginger Costa-Jackson *Ginger Costa-Jackson Headshot
Costa-Jackson’s recent engagements include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with The Metropolitan Opera, and the title role in Carmen with San Francisco Opera, Michigan Opera, and Teatro de Bellas Artes, as well as a debut at Opera de Paris as Despina in Così fan tutte. She also debuted at Washington Concert Opera in Maria di Rohan, and made her LA Opera debut as Maddalena in Rigoletto. Other recent roles include the title role in La cenerentola and Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Seattle Opera. Future engagements include Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at La Monnaie.

Don Jose – Eric Fennell *Eric Fennell headshot
Fennell’s professional debut came when he jumped in for Rodolfo in La bohème at the Glimmerglass Festival. Since then he has appeared as Don Jose in Carmen for Arizona Opera, The Duke in Rigoletto with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Alfredo in La traviata with New York City Opera, Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann at Hawaii Opera Theater, the title role Don Carlos for Lithuanian National Opera, the title role in Werther for Staatstheater Braunschweig, and Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire for Teatro Colon. Fennell is a Metropolitan Opera National Council regional finalist.

Escamillo Christian Pursell *Christian Pursell Headshot
A recent graduate of the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, Christian Pursell’s 2019-20 highlights include Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd at San Francisco Opera, a role debut as Escamillo in Carmen at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, concert performances of Salome with Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Recent engagements include multiple roles in the world premiere of Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera and Tom in Some Light Emerges at Houston Grand Opera. Pursell is a graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Micaela – Celine Byrne *Celine Bryne Headshot
Irish soprano Celine Byrne’s 2019-20 season includes concert appearances in Bangkok alongside Jose Carerras in her 11th season of singing with the artist. Returning to Europe, she makes two debuts, at Opéra National de Paris as Ortlinde in Die Walküre and at Staatstheatre Hamburg as Mimì in La bohéme. Byrne returns to Ireland to sing the role of Micaela in Carmen with Irish National Opera, and revives the role of Mimì for performances with Opera Idaho. Byrne appears as Liù in Turandot in St. Margarethen, and in December, she hosts her annual Christmas Gala at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Theater.

* Lyric Opera Debut
+ LOKC Resident Artist
~ LOKC Apprentice Artist
@ Former LOKC Resident Artist

Creative Team

Conductor Emmanuel Plasson *
Director Kathleen Belcher
Set Designer R. Keith Brumley

* Lyric Opera Debut

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