Suite by Georges Bizet and Rodion Shchedrin, music by Astor Piazzolla
Carmen knows her fate. She’s already seen it. But she has no intent to run: let it be! Love means unhappiness – for Carmen, for Jose, and maybe even for the Toreador, behind whose mask hides the deceitful sneer of Fate itself. A favourite in Riga, Polish choreographer Krzysztof Pastor (Les Liaisonsdangereuses, Tango, and other LNO productions) has taken Prosper Mérimée’s classic novel and clothed it in contemporary and expressive choreography.
The blood red tourniquets of passion also break through the seemingly contained emotions of the 5 Tangos heroes. Their author – contemporary choreography legend Hans van Manen of the Netherlands. 5 Tangos is one of his most beautiful ballets; it debuted in 1977, and since then has been staged countless times around the world. LNO audiences are introduced to this contemporary choreography genius for the first time.
Work is given by permission of Musikverlag Hans Sikorski GmbH & Co.KG, Hamburg.
Prologue: Destiny, Carmen, DonJose.
The crowd is dancing in the square in front of the cigar factory; Carmen and Don Jose are among them. It is their first and fateful meeting.
The guards are changed, Don Jose is one of the sentries. Women from the factory and Carmen among them come into the square. Carmen’s sensual dance – habanera – fascinates Don Jose. The women return to the factory.
A quarrel breaks out at the factory. Carmen has wounded one of the girls, and Don Jose has to arrest her. On the way to the prison she seduces Don Jose, who forgets all about his duty and allows her to escape. He is punished and dismissed from the army.
Don Jose meets Carmen again. They are in love. He would not hesitate to kill for her sake.
The excited crowd on the square awaits the Toreador. Carmen, fascinated by his handsomeness and fame, falls in love with him. They leave together. Don Jose, unnoticed, witnesses everything.
Carmen and Toreador dance their love duet. Don Jose’s ego is wounded, and he suffers terrible jealousy. Carmen at first shows indifference, but soon resumes toying with him. Don Jose begs for her love.
Carmen leaves secretly. Don Jose understands that her love is over. At the same time Carmen as a Gypsy sees her future and accepts her destiny.
On the day of the bullfight, Don Jose sees Carmen beside the Toreador. He begs for her love one more time, but she rejects him. She loves the Toreador. For Don Jose it is unbearable to watch her with someone else, he draws out his knife and kills Carmen.