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Norwich Theatre and Buxton International Festival present Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s La tragédie de Carmen

We are delighted to present Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s opera La tragédie de Carmen at Norwich Theatre Royal, a gritty and brutal tale of self-destruction.


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In its second collaboration with Buxton International Festival, Norwich Theatre is delighted to present Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s La tragédie de Carmen at Norwich Theatre Royal between 26 – 28 Jul 24. 

La tragédie de Carmen is a brutal, gritty tale of self-destruction fuelled by lust, set to some of opera’s most famous music. Peter Brook doesn’t hold back, stripping the opera to its core essentials while focusing on themes of obsession and lust.  

When Don Jose falls for the fiery and ambitious Carmen, their tragic fates are sealed. He shuns his childhood sweetheart, and they begin a visceral journey that descends to jealousy, madness and murder. 

Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive and Creative Director at Norwich Theatre, said: “We know that our audiences crave opera on our stages, and have published a report Opera Voices, highlighting just that. We have made a real commitment to our audiences who love opera and who were disappointed by the cuts touring opera has seen. 

“As a part of this commitment, we are proud to be collaborate with our friends at the Buxton International Festival to present Peter Brook’s La tragédie de Carmen in what is sure to be a operatic feast!” 

Michael Williams, Buxton International’s Festival’s CEO said: ”After the success of our collaboration last year with The Land of Might-Have-Been, we are thrilled to be working with Norwich Theatre on our joint production of La tragédie de Carmen.” 

The show includes elements of the Georges Bizet opera as well as the original Prosper Mérimée novella on which Bizet’s opera was based. Brook adapted the script with Academy award-winning screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, re-examining it from a new perspective. The original score was adapted for a chamber orchestra by Marius Constant, and the show premiered in Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris, in November 1981. 

Director Katharina Kastening has created new productions for Oper Frankfurt, Opéra National de Lorraine, and Opera Northern Ireland. The cast is led by the charismatic Irish mezzo-soprano Niamh O’Sullivan and features music from the Northern Chamber Orchestra. 

Sung in French with English surtitles.  

Last year, Norwich Theatre and Buxton International Festival co-produced a ground-breaking new musical, The Land Of Might-Have-Been. The musical was built around the songs of Ivor Novello and was based on the life of feminist and pacifist, Vera Brittain and the lives of those closest to her. 

To book or to find out more, visit or call the Box Office at 01603 630 000.