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September 20, 2023

'Carmen' ignites the ballet stage

Philadelphia Ballet’s debut production crackles with emotion, romance and deceit

Performances Ballet

Content sponsored by PHLBallet-Native-092023-Carmen

Limited - Philadelphia Ballet - Carmen Main Image Alexander Iziliaev/Philadelphia Ballet

Arian Molina Soca and Nayara Lopes

Patience and ambition have stood as the cornerstones of Angel Corella’s near-decade-long tenure as Philadelphia Ballet’s Artistic Director. So when the opportunity presented itself, he called on both strengths to adapt his home country’s masterwork: Carmen begins its 10-day run at the Academy of Music on October 5th, with tickets starting as low as $25.

“This production requires the perfect storm–great artistry, great acting and great dancing. And now is the right time for the company to do it,” says Corella.

Limited - Philadelphia Ballet - Carmen Image 1Alexander Iziliaev/Philadelphia Ballet

Nayara Lopes

The fiery tragicomic performance is renowned in the dance community for its demanding range of choreography and musical accompaniment, blending traditional technique with flamenco and graying the border between French and Spanish influence.

Originally conceived as a novella by 19th century writer Prosper Mérimée, Carmenhas lived many lives since. Perhaps most famously through George Bizet’s 1945 opera—and as the only Spanish director to repackage the story for an American audience, Corella takes a pointed pride in staying true to its provocative spirit.

Limited - Philadelphia Ballet - Image 2Alexander Iziliaev/Philadelphia Ballet

Nayara Lopes

“It’s a great chance to bring a date to the theater,” smirks Corella. “It will be a romantic night—but it will also show them how not to behave in a relationship.”

Carmenf ollows the odyssey of Don José, the love-drunk solider seduced by its titular character, the elusive femme fatale. As he navigates the Sevillian underworld of bullfighting and banditry in pursuit of Carmen, Don José’s passion only swells, eventually unraveling the unintended consequences of total infatuation.

Limited - Philadelphia Ballet - Image 3Alexander Iziliaev/Philadelphia Ballet

Arian Molina Soca

The music of Carmen spans timeless ballet backtracks from Bizet’s rendition, all the way to traditional Spanish folk melodies. Music Director Beatrice Jona Affron gracefully lilts between Spanish and French—old and new—to create a soundscape that heightens the dramatic tensions at every turn.

Don’t miss your chance to see and hear Corella’s world premiere this fall. View the full schedule of performances and reserve your seats for an evening you won’t soon forget.