• English
  • Finnish

Fri 14.2.2020 at 18:30 · Premiere

Georges Bizet: Carmen

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Tampere Hall, Main auditorium - Yliopistonkatu 55, 33100
Tampere, Finland

Carmen charms at Tampere Opera next year – Marco Bjurström will direct the opera classic

Tampere Opera’s production of operas in 2020 will feature Georges Bizet’s Carmen. The opera’s premiere will be February 14, 2020 Carmen will be directed by Marco Bjurström, who made his opera debut in the Sillanpää Opera in 2017. The opera is a part of Tampere Hall’s 30th anniversary collection.

The title role will be played by the mezzo soprano Niina Keitel, who previously sang Carmen successfully in the Bonn Opera in Germany in 2017. The role of Don José will be sung by Arturo Chacón Cruz. Mexican tenor Chacón Cruz was the winner of the 2005 Operalia singing competition, and his ascending career has allowed him to work with names such as Ramón Vargas, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen and his long-time mentor Plácido Domingo. In the role of Micaëla, we will see Marjukka Tepponen, who was charming in the main role in Jaakko Kuusisto’s Ice Opera, and, as Escamillo, the baritone favourite, Tommi Hakala.

Visualising the work will be Kati Lukka, who is known for her opera work as an impressive set decorator, as well as costume designer Erika Turunen and lighting designer Ville Syrjä. The Tampere Philharmonic will be led by conductor Alberto Hold-Garrido. Carmen’s entire lineup will be published later this year. The performance of the opera will be in French, with the work’s text presented in Finnish and in English.

Ticket sales for the opera will start on Friday, February 8, at 9pm at Tampere Hall’s box office and at Lippu.fi.

“Carmen seduces”

Marco Bjurström has directed, in his diverse career, numerous musicals, as well as the highly acclaimed Sillanpää opera by Seppo Pohjola. As a lover of the French language, Bjurström finds that Carmen is just the kind of classic that he has always wanted to grasp.

– I love Bizet’s music, and the opera’s composition movement and material attracted me. In addition, we can make the opera about strong women, which feels intriguing.

According to Bjurström, the main character Carmen’s strength and rebellion are a double-edged sword.

– The work’s characters repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and this endless circular theme is also reflected in my directing. The person does not seem to learn their lesson, not in this opera and not always in life.

In addition to hearing the familiar Tampere Philharmonic, in Carmen we will also hear Tampere Opera’s choir and children’s choir.

– We want to bring a cohesive and energetic group to the stage. One in which every member of the choir feels important and feels like they’re making the best Carmen in the world in Tampere, says Bjurström.

Carmen, which tells of love, freedom and jealousy, is one of the world’s most popular operas and is well suited for both experienced viewers and new opera audiences. Bjurström also hopes that opera first-timers from all over Finland would find their way to Tampere and that the threshold to operatic art would become lowered.

– The heart needs moments when you can think of something else, and Carmen surely seduces. I would even argue that watching Carmen can improve and extend one’s own life – even if people die in it, just as in almost all operas, Bjurström laughs.

The charming Tampere Hall, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, is looking forward to working with Bjurström.

– We have long been looking for opportunities to work with Marco and now we have found the perfect piece for our cooperation, says Paulina Ahokas, Managing Director of Tampere Hall.


Niina Keitel, Carmen
Arturo Chacón Cruz, Don José
Marjukka Tepponen, Micaëla
Tommi Hakala, Escamillo

Georges Bizet: Carmen
Libretto Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
Conductor Alberto Hold-Garrido
Composition Marco Bjurström
Set design Kati Lukka
Costumes Erika Turunen
Lighting Ville Syrjä

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Tampere Opera Choir
Tampere Opera Children´s Choir


Fri 14.2.2020 at 6.30pm, premiere
Sun 16.2.2020 at 3pm
Wed 19.2.2020 at 6.30pm
Sat 22.2.2020 at 3pm
Wed 26.2.2020 at 6.30pm
Sat 29.2.2020 at 3pm

The show is in French. Subtitles in Finnish and English.

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