Edinburgh International Festival
Various performance times
Running time: Approx 3 hours, including 1 interval

Edinburgh International Festival



The most popular French opera in the world comes to the International Festival direct from Opéra-Comique – the Parisian opera house where it all began.

Carmen’s independent heroine, striking Spanish style and unforgettable melodies have permeated popular culture ever since its premiere in 1875.

Opéra-Comique’s new production of Georges Bizet's masterpiece is brought to the stage by conductor Louis Langrée and director Andreas Homoki. This is a classic tale of love, passion and jealousy, following the soldier Don José’s dramatic fall from grace as he meets the free-spirited Carmen.

The score remains true to Bizet’s original vision, with musical pieces interspersed with dialogue, emphasising the comedic elements of the opera. Homoki also weaves in the history of the opera itself, from its scandalous premiere to its accumulating popularity over the following 149 years.

Mezzo soprano Gaëlle Arquez leads as Carmen, a role which she has perfected in international opera houses since 2017. She performs alongside Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu as Don José, Carmen’s villainous lover. The international cast is joined by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Opéra-Comique.

Gaëlle Arquez is an elegant, expressive Carmen

Financial Times

Brings meaning and life to an opera that sounds new even though everyone already knows it by heart.

Opera Wire

Tickets from £39.00, available via Edinburgh International Festival


  • Sun 4 Aug 6:00 PM
  • Tue 6 Aug 7:00 PM
  • Thu 8 Aug 7:00 PM


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Access Performances

Audio Described
Thu 8 Aug, 7pm


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