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A ballet in two acts based on the novella “Carmen” by Prosper Mérimée.

Carmen is a completely new work two-act ballet lasting about two hours. I didn’t look at any earlier works based on the same subject, but instead I focused on Prosper Mérimée’s story and guided by this, I put more emphasis on aspects that have previously been glossed over. For example, the detailed description of the hot summer day at the cigar factory where hundreds of women work in a highly erotic atmosphere. Another inspiration from the novel is where the story take place - forest, the Gypsies hideaway or the port Gibraltar at the Spain's south coast. Both locations became strong visual aspects of the performance scenic design.

I am also thankful for a great help from Petr Forman and the Prague puppet team for their work on realization an idea of a life size puppet horse. Thanks to the team the spectacular horse puppet became alive and surly darling of the audience.

However, all the action follows that of the story, beginning with Don José’s confessions to Mérimée before he is hanged for his crimes.

My Carmen is a totally free and feral creature. A wild spirit, like an untamed horse. When José tries to persuade her to start a new life with him, she rebels and tells him that the more he asks her this, the more she will shun him. She is a beautiful gypsy, a strong woman full of energy and desires, hungry for life’s pleasures.

A ballet in two acts based on the novella “Carmen” by Prosper Mérimée.

Created for Teatro dell”Opera di Roma, Eleonora Abbagnato.
Premiere 02.02.2019, Rome, Italy

Music by Georges Bizet, Manuel De Falla, Isaac Albéniz, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Gabriele Bonolis
Orchestrations by Gabriele Bonolis
Music Arrangement by Jiří Bubeníček with Gabriele Bonolis
Orchestra of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Conducted by Conductor Louis Lohraseb

Choreography Jiří Bubeníček
Stage design Giovanni Carluccio
Costume designer Anna Biagiotti
Lighting design Giovanni Carluccio and Jiří Bubeníček
Choreography assistent Arsen Mehrabyan

Carmen: Rebecca Bianchi / Susanna Salvi
Don José: Amar Ramasar / Giacomo Castellana
Lucas: Alessio Rezza / Michele Satriano
and the ballet company of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma


Awarded with “Europa in Danza” Prize 2019
Award for best choreographic production of the season 2019 for “Carmen”, choreography Jiří Bubeníček, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

Choreographer Jiří Bubeníček’s Carmen celebrates the incredible inspiration of Bizet’s timeless music in a completely new two-act ballet that also includes music by Albéniz, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Falla, orchestrated and adapted by Gabriele Bonolis. The production emphasizes aspects of the original drama, heightening the erotic atmosphere of the cigar factory and Carmen’s wild spirit, and including a spectacular on-stage horse. The sensational choreography closely depicts the storyline of Prosper Mérimée’s original novella in a production that was hailed by critics as a triumph.



Studio & Audience

Photos © Yasuko Kageyama


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