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La Tragédie de Carmen

Gerard Jones directs Peter Brook’s radical reworking of Georges Bizet’s opera.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of La Tragédie de Carmen. It was last on stage 3–14 November 2017 as part of the Autumn 2017/18 season.

The Story

The soldier Don José falls in love with the gypsy Carmen. But she grows tired of his jealousy, especially after she meets the toreador Escamillo.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


La Tragédie de Carmen is a radical adaptation of Georges Bizet’s Carmen. It was created by the acclaimed British theatre director Peter Brook in 1981 for the tiny Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. Brook collaborated with composer Marius Constant and writer Jean-Claude Carrière to create an intimate chamber version for just four singers, which uses new spoken dialogue that draws on the novella by Prosper Mérimée, the opera’s original inspiration. La Tragédie de Carmen was a runaway success at its premiere, and soon after was performed internationally and adapted for film.

Brook pared Bizet’s opera back to its core: ‘everything is trimmed away to focus on the intense interaction, the tragedy of four people.’ The result is a powerful piece of theatre coloured by Bizet’s wonderful music, including Carmen’s ‘Habanera’, Escamillo’s Toreador Song and Don José’s Flower Song. Director Gerard Jones creates a new production of Brook’s adaptation in the atmospheric space of Wilton’s Music Hall, for the young stars of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme – following on from their sell-out success with Handel’s Oreste in the same venue in 2016.