Preloader Operavision
NCPA Beijing
25.10.2019 at 17h00 CET
Friday, October 25, 2019 - 17:00

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing


Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame.

Operas | Bizet

When a free-spirited Gypsy is arrested, an impressionable soldier is charmed into letting her go. But having risked everything to be with her and lost, his hopes of happiness soon turn into a jealous rage.


With equal parts danger and desire, Carmen is an intoxicating cocktail that never fails to excite the senses. Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel plays the seductive sevillana in this festive production from ‘The Giant Egg’ in Beijing. Streamed on Bizet’s birthday, this performance is part of OperaVision’s events celebrating the inaugural World Opera Day on 25 October 2019.

Sung in French

Subtitled in English and Mandarin Chinese.                                                                                                                                    

Available from
25.10.2019 at 17h00 CET

Available until
24.04.2020 at 12h00 CET

CarmenMaría José Montiel
Don JoséWarren Mok
EscamilloYuan Chenye
MicaëlaZhou Xiaolin
FrasquitaLi Xintong
MercédèsZhang Zhuo
RemendadoLiu Naiqi
ChorusChina NCPA Chorus
OrchestraChina NCPA Orchestra

MusicGeorges Bizet
TextHenri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
ConductorZhang Guoyong
DirectorFrancesca Zambello
Video DirectorTiziano Mancini

Act I

On a plaza in Seville, a village maiden called Micaëla looks for but fails to find her fiancé, Don José, a Corporal of Dragoons. During their midday break, workers from the tobacco factory gather in the plaza. Among them is Carmen, an attractive Gypsy woman, who refuses all her admirers except José. She throws a flower at his face before slipping away. After the break has finished, José secretly picks up the flower.

Micaëla finally finds José and hands him a letter from his mother. A riot suddenly breaks out at the tobacco factory when Carmen get into a fight with another factory worker, injuring her with a knife. Carmen is accordingly arrested and José is put in charge of guarding her. Beguiled by her dancing, the Corporal lets her go and is duly arrested himself for dereliction of duty.

Act II

In a small tavern two months later, Carmen, her friends and military officers are drinking in high spirits. A matador called Escamillo drops by and flirts with Carmen, who brushes him aside. Two smugglers try to rope Carmen into helping them with their latest mission, but she rejects their offer as she is waiting for Don José, who has just been released from detention.

When José arrives at the tavern, Carmen treats him to a private dance. She demands he shows his love for her by leaving, but José refuses to desert. Just as he prepares to return to his barracks, the Lieutenant of Dragoons enters looking for Carmen. He and José fight, and are separated by the returning smugglers. Having attacked a superior officer, José now has no choice but to join Carmen and the smugglers.


Don José, Carmen and other smugglers are living in the surrounding mountains. José feels regret for how he has abandoned his mother and Micaëla. The young man becomes enraged, and Carmen realises that she may be killed by him someday. Micaëla, who still loves José, risks her life to find him. At the same time, Escamillo looks for Carmen but comes across José instead. Realising what the matador intends to do, José is overwhelmed with jealousy and decides to kill him, but the smugglers interrupt them just in time. Micaëla is discovered and asks José to return home with her. Despite Carmen’s mockery, he at first decides to stay put, but then agrees to leave when told that his mother is gravely ill.

Act IV

Spectators and peddlers throng in front of the bullring. Escamillo enters the arena for his fight, but Carmen decides to stay outside and speak with Don José. He arrives in ragged clothes begs and begs her for forgiveness, but she remains unrepentant. They hear loud cheering and applause from the arena, a sign that Escamillo has been victorious. Carmen wants to rush towards the ring to join in with the celebrations, but José prevents her from doing so. Ablaze with anger, and he draws his dagger and stabs her. As the crowd leaves the arena, they find Carmen lying in a pool of blood and José crying out, admitting his crime.