Carmen is coming to Sadler’s Wells in London

Carlos Acostas Carmen Cristina Lanandez 5

In an event that harmoniously blends tradition with contemporary flair, Sadler’s Wells Theatre unfolds its red carpet for Acosta Danza, as they present the UK premiere of Carlos Acosta’s version of Carmen from the 2nd to the 6th of July, 2024. This adaptation by the dance legend Carlos Acosta gives a new lease of life to Georges Bizet’s opera, stirring the soul nearly two centuries after Prosper Mérimée penned the original story.

Carlos Acosta himself steps onto the stage, not just as a creator but as a performer, embodying ‘The Bull’ – a symbol of fate and destiny. This role, specially crafted by Acosta, emerges from his deep-seated desire to encapsulate the essence of the narrative while marking his departure from the Royal Ballet. His rendition of Carmen holds onto the timeless and universal appeal of the tale yet introduces a fresh perspective by minimising the setting to its core elements.

Joining forces with Acosta Danza are Principal dancers Laura Rodriguez, Enrique Corrales, and Alejandro Silva, alongside guest stars from the Birmingham Royal Ballet – Yaoqian Shang, Javier Rojas, and Lachlan Monaghan, who will portray Carmen, Don José, and Escamillo, respectively. This cast embodies the spirit of the characters they portray, bringing to life the tragic tale of love, passion, and jealousy.

Carmen’s story has always captivated the imagination of many, attracting a variety of choreographers such as Marius Petipa and Roland Petit to its fiery core. The opera’s enchanting melodies like the ‘Toreador Song’ and ‘Habanera’ continue to resonate, underscoring the opera’s enduring popularity in Western classical music.

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Carlos Acosta’s illustrious career, marked by his meteoric rise as a principal dancer at the English National Ballet and later an adored figure at the Royal Ballet, has been distinguished by his contributions to ballet, earning him a CBE in 2014. Following his retirement from classical ballet, Acosta founded Acosta Danza and took the helm at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, continuing to influence the ballet world significantly.

Carmen is a highlight in the Sadler’s Wells’ ‘Ballet with attitude’ programme, showcasing a perfect blend of classic ballet with a modern touch. Carlos Acosta’s anticipation to present this full length version of Carmen for the first time filled him with gratitude towards Sadler’s Wells. He aimed to craft a version that transcends time, stripping back the narrative to its core, facilitated by exciting new designs by Tim Hatley and innovative projections by Nina Dunn to set the perfect atmosphere.

Artistic Director and Co-Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, Sir Alistair Spalding CBE, expressed his joy in hosting Acosta Danza once again, highlighting their long-standing support for Carlos’s mission to present Cuban talent on the global stage. The premiere of Carmen promises an unforgettable blend of classical grace and contemporary innovation, marking a unique moment in the world of dance.

Tickets for this groundbreaking event are available through the Sadler’s Wells website or by calling 020 7863 8000. This performance is a testament to the enduring power of love and destiny, encapsulated through the virtuoso movements of ballet.

Ahead of your visit, get more info here