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Carmen - King's Head Theatre


Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OLIVIER Award-winning OperaUpClose are premiering their new version of Georges Bizet’s Carmen at the King’s Head Theatre, where it runs for a limited season – from April 3 to May 5, 2012.

With a new English libretto by Ben Cooper, Carmen is accompanied by piano and Spanish guitar, is directed by Rodula Gaitanou, a recent Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artist, and has musical direction by Elspeth Wilkes.

Carmen, with its cast of gangs and outcasts, is set in a modern day North London where Carmen, an irresistible and bold young woman, becomes the fatal link between law-abiding society and the gritty underworld where she belongs.

Featuring the famous Habanera in which Carmen entices and enrages the men around her, and the Toreador Song, Bizet’s masterpiece revolutionised the world of opera with its sensuous, dangerous heroine and candid depiction of criminality.

OperaUpClose is dedicated to presenting new, difficult and classic operas in intimate spaces with world-class trained singers and directors, bringing opera to life for diverse audiences and offering the extraordinary opportunity to experience the dramatic and musical event of opera up close.

The company’s first production was La Bohème, which opened at The Cock Tavern Theatre in October 2009 and went on to become the longest continuously performed opera in the UK. Along the way, it won the 2011 Laurence Olivier Award for “Best New Opera Production” and the 2011 Award for “Best Off-West End Production”.

In October 2010, OperaUpClose became the resident company at the King’s Head Theatre, where it has now produced nine new opera productions, as well as two productions – two transfers of La Bohème and a new production of Don Giovanni – at Soho Theatre.

Casting for Carmen has yet to be announced.

Tickets: £16 – £25 – available from the box office on 020 7478 0160 or online at

Times: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.15pm, Sunday at 3pm.

Someone to Blame runs at the King’s Head Theatre from Tuesday, March 6 to Saturday, March 31, 2012.