Carmen – the George Bizet masterpiece – is one of the most frequently performed and popular operas of all time. And for good reason!  

Iconic tunes. Seductive plotlines. Convincing characters. 

Presented by Manitoba Opera, this production comes with its own bit of added drama.  


Originally scheduled for March 2020, the full-scale production was postponed due to the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“So happy it’s happening again,” says Manitoba-based soprano Lara Ciekiewicz, who sings the role of Micaëla.  

Acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson makes her company debut as the fiery temptress Carmen, with the celebrated Canadian tenor David Pomeroy reprising his role as the obsessive corporal Don José. Internationally renowned Canadian baritone Daniel Okulitch will be appearing as Escamillo the dashing bullfighter.   

The production is a grand one: soloists, chorus (both adult and youth), a full orchestra in the pit, large stage crew, a busy hair and makeup team.  

"To have all those forces together again, just feels like family is reunited,” says Ciekiewicz.  

Bizet’s Carmen premiered in 1875 in Paris and features a libretto penned by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The story centers around the title character, a fiery, smart and seductive woman, beholden to no person.  

“I think this is a show that is going to challenge people, even today, on their perception of what a strong woman is,” says Ciekiewicz.  

“For anybody, regardless of gender, to be masters of our own destiny is a really powerful story... but I think for a woman to tell that story and lead that story is extra powerful.”  

Set in Seville, Spain in the 1820s, the Brian Deedrick Manitoba Opera production updates the period by about a century.  

“We’re now in Franco’s Spain,” explains Ciekiewicz. “Lots of unrest – politically and socially – which I think really plays into the feel of what’s happening on stage and the tensions that can arise really quickly.”  

The opera features some of the most recognizable music including Carmen’s smoky Habanera, Don José’s Flower Song, and the rousing Toreador Song. 

Carmen opens on Saturday, April 13 with additional performances Wednesday, April 17 and Friday, April 19.  

For tickets and more details, visit: