Tuesday 2nd March 2010 to Saturday 6th March 2010
Castle Hall, Hertford
By Georges Bizet
Directed by Martyn Harrison
Musical Director Malcolm Dorling
Photos by Steve Beeston

Set in Seville around the year 1830, the opera deals with the love and jealousy of Don Jose, who is lured away from his duty as a soldier and his beloved Micaela by the gypsy factory-girl Carmen, whom he allows to escape from custody. He is later induced to join the smugglers with whom Carmen is associated, but is driven wild by jealousy. This comes to a head when Carmen makes clear her preference for the bull-fighter Escamillo. The last act, outside the bull-ring in Seville, brings Escamillo to the arena, accompanied by Carmen, there stabbed to death by Don Jose, who has been awaiting her arrival.

Carmen, the most famous of Bizet's operas, with its exotic Spanish setting, introduced a note of realism into opera that proved unacceptable to many who saw the first performances. Objection was taken to the wild and immoral behaviour of Carmen, the chorus of cigarette factory- girls and their smoking and the final murder of Carmen on the stage. Orchestral suites have been derived from the score, while popular excerpts must include Carmen's seductive Habanera and Seguidilla, the famous Toreador's Song and Don Jose's later reference to the flower Carmen had once thrown him, La fleur que tu m'avais jetee (The flower that you threw me), with Micaela's moving aria Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante.


CarmenSara Grimshaw
Don JoseRobert Amon
MicaelaSarah Sykes
EscamilloJohn Tripp
FrasquitaLyanna Monk
MercedesAngela Hyland
DancairoIan Davies
RemendadoStephen Cooper
ZunigaMartyn Broyd
MoralesIan Boughton
Lillas PastiaMaurice Newman
The GuideMark Kirby


Director's AssistantAudrey Harris
Stage ManagerSue Hantke
Assistant Stage ManagerNik Mayes
Lighting DesignPhil Hamilton
Lighting OperatorJohn Bain
Sound DesignNik Mayes
Sound AssistantJohn Allison
WardrobeDebbie Rudgley & Audrey Harris
PropertiesHazel Fisher, Doreen Spielman, Anne Warner & Lynne Warrilow
MakeupCelia Lawrence and team
Front Of HouseJohn Davis
CostumesTony Brett, Costume Store & members
SceneryPaul Lazell, HDOS
PropertiesMembers and friends
Chaperone ManagerVivienne Brooks