Arena di Verona tickets 20 July 2024 - Carmen |


Arena di Verona, Arena, Verona, Italy
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9:15 PM
US$ 107

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If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Verona, Italy
Starts at: 21:15
Acts: 4
Intervals: 2
Duration: 3h 20min
Sung in: French
Titles in: Italian,English

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Mezzo-Soprano: Clémentine Margaine (Carmen)
Chorus: Chorus of the Arena di Verona
Soprano: Daria Rybak (Micaëla)
Tenor: Francesco Meli (Don José)
Conductor: Leonardo Sini
Baritone: Luca Micheletti (Escamillo)
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Arena di Verona
Composer: Georges Bizet
Stage Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Librettist: Henri Meilhac
Librettist: Ludovic Halévy
Author: Prosper Mérimée

Arena Opera Festival 2024

Arena presents the programs of the 2024 and 2025 Festival. 7 opera titles and 5 evening events in 2024 with a tribute to Puccini and de Bosio on their respective centenaries for 46 appointments from 8 June to 7 September.


The Carmen by Georges Bizet in the legendary production which was in fact the 1995 Arena debut at the amphitheatre of Franco Zeffirelli, and will be proposed in the best synthesis of the various editions staged at the Arena di Verona, narrating the strongest passion with the background of a multi-coloured Seville teeming with life, and featuring convincing realism with a cinematographic slant.

Despite his engagement to the local girl Micaela, the soldier Don José becomes infatuated with the rebellious Carmen, whom he arrests and later abandons. However, her unyielding spirit and unfettered independence clash with his traditional values, fuelling jealousy. The tragic climax occurs when Carmen crosses paths with the renowned bullfighter Escamillo.

With the extraordinary participation of Compañia Antonio Gades.

Premiere of this production: 03 March 1875, Opéra-Comique, Paris

Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences.



A tobacco factory and the barracks of the dragoons open out onto the main square of Seville. People are coming and going. A young girl makes her way through the crowd. She has an air of bewilderment and approaches the guards shyly, saying she is looking for Brigadier Don José. They tell her he will soon be here  and invite her to wait with them. Intimidated, she declines and wanders away.

It is time for the changing of the guard. A new platoon arrives, followed by a group of young rogues who mimic the march of the soldiers. Don José is with them. His fellow soldiers tell him of the girl’s visit and, from their description, he deduces it was Micaela, an orphan who his mother has welcomed into their home.

A bell rings and everyone’s eyes turn to the cigarette-makers as they walk out of the tobacco factory. The men rush to the entrance to admire them close-up. The girls enjoy flirting. Among them is Carmen, a beautiful and sensual gypsy. Well-aware of her charm, she sings a song which is full of allusions and from which it is clear that she does not believe in the constancy of love. Don José pays no attention to her. Carmen notes his indifference and so she provocatively throws him a flower, much to the delight of the crowd. Shocked by such brazenness, but also disturbed by it, he picks up the flower and instinctively hides it under his coat.

Micaela returns. She hands Don José a letter with money enclosed and a kiss to give him, a kiss from his mother. He is moved and when she leaves, he opens the letter. His mother, he reads, wants to see him married, to that fine girl. He swears he will follow his mother’s advice and is about to throw away the flower  when a fight breaks out among the cigarette-makers. Carmen has wounded a fellow worker with a knife. Don José is ordered to arrest her and escort her to prison. But on the way, Carmen, a consummate seducer, starts tricking him. She promises a meeting at the tavern of Lillas Pastia, near the walls of the city. By now bewitched, Don José succumbs: he frees her wrists, pretends to be pushed and falls to the ground. Carmen laughs and escapes.


In the tavern of Lillas Pastia, an infamous place and a smugglers’ inn where soldiers and gypsies meet. Carmen sings and dances a hypnotic and exotic love song in the company of her friends, Mercedes and Frasquita. Lieutenant Zuniga informs her that Don José, having spent time in prison for helping her to escape, has just been released. However, Zuniga, too is captivated by the gypsy and starts flirting with her, but is interrupted by the arrival of Escamillo. All the people present acclaim the young toreador as he recounts his prowess in the bullfighting arena, and he, too is struck by Carmen’s beauty.

When the regulars leave, the innkeeper allows Dancairo and Remendado to come in. They are two smugglers who are preparing to strike that night and want Carmen and her friends to help. This time, however, the gypsy has no intention of going with them: she is waiting for her man to return. Shortly afterwards, Don José arrives, manifesting all his love. Carmen starts dancing sensually for him but the moment the trumpet sounds the retreat, José (who has now been demoted to the rank of simple soldier) starts to head back to the barracks. This infuriates Carmen. She derides and insults him for this is not her idea of love. Just before leaving, he pauses and pours out his heart to her. Despite their differences, he says, he loves her and cannot live without her. Carmen then invites him to join the smugglers. She proposes a life free of constraints, but José rules out the idea of deserting. Faced with the umpteenth misunderstanding between them, he decides to leave her. In the meantime, Zuniga arrives, returning in the hope of seducing Carmen. As soon as he sees Don José, he orders him to return to the barracks, but Don José refuses and a violent fight breaks out. At this point, José, guilty of insubordination, has no choice but to join the smugglers and take up the life of an outlaw.


Having arrived at their hideout in the mountains, the smugglers sit and rest. Carmen and Don José exchange a few words but it is clear that their relationship is deteriorating. She is already tired of him and wants to be free; he is full of remorse over having betrayed his mother. Above all, though, he is obsessed by jealousy. Frasquita and Mercedes read tarot cards and see a bright future ahead for them. Carmen then comes over and consults the cards. She looks and sees death, both for her and Don José. She is agitated for she knows that her man is exasperated and could even kill her, but she is not afraid. She resigns herself to her fate.

Micaela unexpectedly arrives, accompanied by a guide. These places scare her, but in a desperate attempt to redeem the man she loves, she summons up the courage to go on. From afar, she sees Don José standing on a rock with a rifle, firing a warning shot at a stranger. Scared stiff, she quickly hides. Then Escamillo appears, having narrowly escaped Don José’s rifle shot. The toreador has come to track down the gypsy he is in love with. He and Don José exchange a few words and quickly realize they are rivals in love and prepare to fight a duel to have her. They unsheathe their swords and are about to rush at each other when Carmen and the smugglers appear and stop them.

Escamillo departs, but not before inviting them all to the bullfight in Seville. The band of smugglers is about to depart once more when they find Micaela. She pleads with José to go back home with him, but he refuses. (He knows Carmen would take advantage of his absence to start a relationship with the toreador.) However, when he learns that his mother is dying, overcome with a sense of guilt, he gives in and goes with her. But before leaving, he warns Carmen that they will meet again, soon.


In the square opposite the arena in Seville, the crowd is excitedly waiting for the toreador to arrive. When the team of toreadors arrive, preceded by the band, the crowd becomes euphoric. Escamillo arrives accompanied by Carmen, elegant and more radiant than ever. Before he enters the arena, she swears that she has never loved anyone as much as him. Don José is also in the crowd and Frasquita who has seen him, warns Carmen to be careful: it would be better if she went, she says. Carmen is not intimidated, however, and replies defiantly that she is not afraid of him; on the contrary, she wants to meet him.

Everyone goes into the arena, except Carmen. Don José arrives. He is deranged. He begs her to return to him. He humiliates himself by saying that he is ready to do anything in order to have her again. Carmen, though, is not moved by pity. She remains inflexible and haughty. She says she no longer loves him and will not change her mind. After all, free she was born and free she will die. The atmosphere becomes more and more tense and the words increasingly violent until, as a final provocation, she pulls off the ring he had given her, and throws it away.

While the crowd inside the arena is cheering and applauding Escamillo’s victory, Don José, by now out of his mind with anger and frustration, stabs Carmen mortally. Before the crowd who are now coming out of the arena, he throws himself on top of her lifeless body, calling.

Place: Seville, Spain, and surrounding hills
Time: Around 1820

Act 1

A square, in Seville. On the right, a door to the tobacco factory. At the back, a bridge. On the left, a guardhouse.

A group of soldiers relaxes in the square, waiting for the changing of the guard and commenting on the passers-by ("Sur la place, chacun passe"). Micaëla appears, seeking José. Moralès tells her that "José is not yet on duty" and invites her to wait with them. She declines, saying she will return later. José arrives with the new guard, who is greeted and imitated by a crowd of urchins ("Avec la garde montante").

As the factory bell rings, the cigarette girls emerge and exchange banter with young men in the crowd ("La cloche a sonné"). Carmen enters and sings her provocative habanera on the untameable nature of love ("L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"). The men plead with her to choose a lover, and after some teasing she throws a flower to Don José, who thus far has been ignoring her but is now annoyed by her insolence.

As the women go back to the factory, Micaëla returns and gives José a letter and a kiss from his mother ("Parle-moi de ma mère!"). He reads that his mother wants him to return home and marry Micaëla, who retreats in shy embarrassment on learning this. Just as José declares that he is ready to heed his mother's wishes, the women stream from the factory in great agitation. Zuniga, the officer of the guard, learns that Carmen has attacked a woman with a knife. When challenged, Carmen answers with mocking defiance ("Tra la la... Coupe-moi, brûle-moi"); Zuniga orders José to tie her hands while he prepares the prison warrant. Left alone with José, Carmen beguiles him with a seguidilla, in which she sings of a night of dancing and passion with her lover—whoever that may be—in Lillas Pastia's tavern. Confused yet mesmerised, José agrees to free her hands; as she is led away she pushes her escort to the ground and runs off laughing. José is arrested for dereliction of duty.

Act 2

Lillas Pastia's Inn

Two months have passed. Carmen and her friends Frasquita and Mercédès are entertaining Zuniga and other officers ("Les tringles des sistres tintaient") in Pastia's inn. Carmen is delighted to learn of José's release from two months' detention. Outside, a chorus and procession announces the arrival of the toreador Escamillo ("Vivat, vivat le Toréro"). Invited inside, he introduces himself with the "Toreador Song" ("Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre") and sets his sights on Carmen, who brushes him aside. Lillas Pastia hustles the crowds and the soldiers away.

When only Carmen, Frasquita and Mercédès remain, smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado arrive and reveal their plans to dispose of some recently acquired contraband ("Nous avons en tête une affaire"). Frasquita and Mercédès are keen to help them, but Carmen refuses, since she wishes to wait for José. After the smugglers leave, José arrives. Carmen treats him to a private exotic dance ("Je vais danser en votre honneur ... La la la"), but her song is joined by a distant bugle call from the barracks. When José says he must return to duty, she mocks him, and he answers by showing her the flower that she threw to him in the square ("La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"). Unconvinced, Carmen demands he show his love by leaving with her. José refuses to desert, but as he prepares to depart, Zuniga enters looking for Carmen. He and José fight, and are separated by the returning smugglers, who restrain Zuniga. Having attacked a superior officer, José now has no choice but to join Carmen and the smugglers ("Suis-nous à travers la campagne").

Act 3

A wild spot in the mountains

Carmen and José enter with the smugglers and their booty ("Écoute, écoute, compagnons"); Carmen has now become bored with José and tells him scornfully that he should go back to his mother. Frasquita and Mercédès amuse themselves by reading their fortunes from the cards; Carmen joins them and finds that the cards are foretelling her death, and José's. The women depart to suborn the customs officers who are watching the locality. José is placed on guard duty.

Micaëla enters with a guide, seeking José and determined to rescue him from Carmen ("Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante"). On hearing a gunshot she hides in fear; it is José, who has fired at an intruder who proves to be Escamillo. José's pleasure at meeting the bullfighter turns to anger when Escamillo declares his infatuation with Carmen. The pair fight ("Je suis Escamillo, toréro de Grenade"), but are interrupted by the returning smugglers and girls ("Holà, holà José"). As Escamillo leaves he invites everyone to his next bullfight in Seville. Micaëla is discovered; at first, José will not leave with her despite Carmen's mockery, but he agrees to go when told that his mother is dying. As he departs, vowing he will return, Escamillo is heard in the distance, singing the toreador's song.

Act 4

A square in Seville. At the back, the walls of an ancient amphitheatre

Zuniga, Frasquita and Mercédès are among the crowd awaiting the arrival of the bullfighters ("Les voici ! Voici la quadrille!"). Escamillo enters with Carmen, and they express their mutual love ("Si tu m'aimes, Carmen"). As Escamillo goes into the arena, Frasquita and Mercedes warn Carmen that José is nearby, but Carmen is unafraid and willing to speak to him. Alone, she is confronted by the desperate José ("C'est toi ! C'est moi !"). While he pleads vainly for her to return to him, cheers are heard from the arena. As José makes his last entreaty, Carmen contemptuously throws down the ring he gave her and attempts to enter the arena. He then stabs her, and as Escamillo is acclaimed by the crowds, Carmen dies. José kneels and sings "Ah! Carmen! ma Carmen adorée!"; as the crowd exits the arena, José confesses to killing the woman he loved.

Venue Info

Arena di Verona - Verona
Location   Piazza Bra, 1

Arena di Verona - the name by which the ancient Roman amphitheater is known, built in Verona around 30 ad. Arena di Verona is a world-famous concert venue. The amphitheatre in Verona is the fourth largest among similar Roman buildings in Italy (after the Colosseum, the amphitheatre in Santa Maria Capua vetera and the amphitheatre in Pozzuoli). One of the best preserved buildings of this type. In 2000, as part of other historical monuments of Verona, the amphitheater was included in the world heritage list. Arena di Verona located on the main square of the city — Piazza Bra.

History of the amphitheater

The amphitheatre was built about 30 years for holding Gladiator fights, naval battles (of navlakhi) and circus performances. After the earthquake of 1117, which almost completely destroyed the outer ring of the amphitheater, it was used as a source of stone for other buildings. In the Middle ages in its arena burned heretics, organized tournaments, festivals, and in the XVIII—XIX centuries — bullfights.

Since 1913, the amphitheater has become a regular venue for Opera performances.

The architecture of the amphitheatre

The building was built outside the city limits and consisted of four elliptical rings (inner axis 44,43 and 73,68 meter; external (including unpreserved fourth ring) — 109,52 and is 138,77 m). The original facade was faced with white and pink limestone from Valpolicella. The preserved facade of the amphitheater is made of stone, cement, river pebbles and pieces of brick.

Inside the amphitheater is completely preserved Cavea. The structure was designed for more than 30,000 spectators, the seats are made according to the Greek custom in the form of marble stairs in 44 tiers.

Opera production

The amphitheater is known for its Opera and concert performances held in it. It is the largest Opera concern in the world, receiving up to 600,000 spectators a year.

Due to the exceptional acoustics of the building, its use was resumed in 1913. To mark the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi, the Opera singer and impresario Giovanni Zenatello and his colleague Ottone Rovato staged the Opera Aida here. Since then, the festival has been held more than 70 times, eventually becoming an annual event.

Nowadays, there are usually four different stage productions each year between June and August. In mid-July, performances are given almost every day. During the winter months, Opera and ballet are performed at the

Philharmonic theatre.

Seats on the stone steps of the amphitheater are much cheaper than specially installed chairs at the bottom. After sunset, candles are lit. The capacity of the arena for Opera performances until recently was 20,000 guests, but for security reasons it is reduced to 15,000.

The arena has become a venue for performances of many world Opera celebrities. It was here that Maria Callas made her debut on the Italian stage, singing Gioconda in Ponchielli's Opera of The same name in the Arena in 1947. In addition to Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Renata Tebaldi, Anatoly Solovyanenko, Vladimir Atlantov, Evgeny Nesterenko, Christian Johansson, and many other performers took part in the festival in different years.

The operas were staged by conductors such as Donato Renzetti, M. Eklund, Z. Peshko and others.

Among the variety performers, the most famous concert was presented by singer Adriano Celentano in 2012, who performed his main songs for two evenings. Tickets for both concerts were sold out in 30 minutes, with a total of more than 30,000 people attending the amphitheater. The concert was a significant event not only for Verona, but also for the whole of Italy.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Verona, Italy
Starts at: 21:15
Acts: 4
Intervals: 2
Duration: 3h 20min
Sung in: French
Titles in: Italian,English
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