Carmen Background Image



Richard Alston (2009)  


Scene 1: Morning
In the town square, girls from the cigar factory mingle with soldiers of the garrison. The women persuade a passing gypsy to read the cards for them, but the first card she turns up is Death. Just as she does this, the carefree young Don José appears. When Carmen joins the girls from the factory José doesn’t take much notice and this infuriates her. To get his attention she moves with seductive languour and offers him an intoxicatingly scented flower. José is intrigued but must report for duty with the garrison.

Scarcely has he gone than a fight breaks out amongst the factory girls. Carmen is accused of stealing, and the women gang up on her. Her two friends, Frasquita and Mercedes, try to defend her, but Carmen gets so angry that in a flash of uncontrollable temper, she draws a knife. Mayhem ensues and the garrison arrives. Don José has to arrest Carmen. On the way to jail Carmen pursues her flirtation with José, trying everything to persuade him to release her. She distracts him, sets herself free and makes a hasty escape. José is then arrested and thrown into jail.

Scene 2: Evening
Outside Lillas Pastia’s café that evening the women stroll, serene in the cool air. The Toreador Escamillo arrives at the café, the star of tomorrow’s bullfight. He is admired and adored by all. Carmen is instantly attracted to his charisma, but Escamillo is much more focussed on the glories and dangers of the bull-ring tomorrow. José bursts into the café. He has been released from jail, but is distraught. Carmen, touched by his predicament and by his obvious devotion, shows him affection – but such happiness is not to last. The gypsy shows Carmen the card she has drawn for José. However, Carmen realises that it is actually for her. 

Scene 3: The Next Day
It is the Feria, the day of the bullfight. The festive crowd gathers to acclaim and cheer Escamillo, who arrives with Carmen on his arm. Elated and excited everyone enters the bull-ring, but at the last moment Carmen sees José lurking in the shadows. She knows she must accept what has to happen and calmly, she turns towards him… 


Choreography: Richard Alston
Music: Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite adapted from Georges Bizet’s Carmen
Costume Design: Antony McDonald
Set and Lighting Design: Peter Mumford











What the press said

"Full of ballet tradition with clear story-telling and finely-crafted ensemble pointe-work"
The Herald 

"Carmen is a delight to behold"
The Scotsman


China tour 2009

(performed with Page's Pennies from Heaven)

Nanjing People's Hall, Nanjing
19 May 2009
Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai
22 - 23 May 2009
Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre, Beijing
26 - 27 May 2009

Spring Season 2009

(performed with Page's Cheating, Lying, Stealing)

Theatre Royal Glasgow
Wednesday 15 - Saturday 18 April 2009 

Festival Theatre Edinburgh 
Wednesday 22 - Saturday 25 April 2009 
His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen
Wednesday 29 April - Saturday 2 May 2009 
Eden Court Theatre Inverness
Wednesday 6 - Saturday 9 May 2009

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