A Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre Production, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra

A brutal, gritty tale of self-destruction fuelled by lust, set to some of the most famous music in opera.  Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen doesn’t hold back, stripping the opera to its core essentials whilst focussing on themes of obsession and jealousy.

When Don Jose falls for the fiery and ambitious Carmen their tragic fates are sealed.  His childhood sweetheart is eschewed, and they begin a visceral journey that descends to madness and murder.

If you’re new to opera this is a fantastic introduction to the genre, brimming with arias and music that you didn’t know you knew.  If you’re an opera aficionado then this production offers a new perspective, dissecting and challenging the stereotypes that surround the key characters.

La tragédie de Carmen includes the music of Georges Bizet’s opera as well as the original Prosper Mérimée novella on which Bizet’s opera was based.  However, Brook adapted the script with academy award-winning screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, re-examining it from a new perspective.  The original score was adapted for a chamber orchestra by Marius Constant and the show premiered in Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris in November 1981.

Director Katharina Kastening has created productions for Oper Frankfurt, Opéra National de Lorraine, Oper Halle and Opera Northern Ireland. The cast, of this fully staged production, is led by the charismatic Irish mezzosoprano, Niamh O’Sullivan.

Sung in French with English surtitles.

Please be aware: This production contains moderate violence and moderate sexual content.



Niamh O’Sullivan Carmen

Elgan Llŷr Thomas Don José

Steffan Lloyd Owen Escamillo

Erin Rossington Micaëla

Cameron Cook Active Narrator, Zuniga, Lillas Pastia and Garcia



Iwan Davies Conductor

Katharina Kastening Director

Bettina John Designer

D M Wood Lighting Designer



The Times


Explore Buxton






Conductor Iwan Davies introduces La tragédie de Carmen:


Click here to download the La tragédie de Carmen programme.


09, 13, 16 Jul 2024


£25 - £74

Concessions: £10 tickets are available for under 35 year olds who are part of the Friends of BIF's Next Gen Scheme.


Buxton Opera House

Booking info

Dates, times & booking

  • Tue 9 Jul 2024 7.15pm - 8.40pm Book
  • Sat 13 Jul 2024 7.15pm - 8.40pm Book
  • Tue 16 Jul 2024 7.15pm - 8.40pm Book