music by George Bizet
libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
after the novella by Prosper Mérimée

The Story of Carmen

Carmen, a gypsy woman working in a cigar factory in Seville, enchants and bewitches the soldier Don José. He longingly obeys her commands and helps her escape arrest, although she was under his guard. Unfortunately, this action places Don José in prison instead. Upon his release, he seeks out Carmen at the tavern of Lillas Pastia, and there decides to cast his lot in with Carmen and her smuggler friends, at the cost of his military career. Now immersed in a struggle to keep up with the smugglers as well as preserve his claim on Carmen, Don José unravels. Alerted that his mother is dying, and fetched home by his sweet fiancée Micaëla, Don José vows to Carmen that she shall never leave him. Upon his return, he discovers Carmen and the handsome toreador Escamillo have begun a rapturous affair, and that Carmen is no longer his. Bitterly and angrily, Don José kills her, and throws himself upon her dead body at the same moment the toreador makes the kill in the bullring.

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