Jacksonville Symphony to present ‘Carmen’


The Jacksonville Symphony will present Georges Bizet's timeless and cherished opera, “Carmen,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Sung in French with English supertitle translations, a world-class cast and the orchestra share the stage for the largest production of the Jacksonville Symphony’s 2023-24 season, transforming Jacoby Symphony Hall into an opera house, complemented by vivid 30-foot projection screens serving as “sets.”

“Carmen” is an opera about love, obsession, inescapable charisma, betrayal and revenge. It centers on its namesake, a beautiful gypsy woman who robs a soldier and convinces him to assist her escape from jail. From start to finish, the opera unfolds into a tale of love, jealousy and murder, with Carmen's mysterious and elusive nature taking center stage. For centuries, the story has captivated audiences with its drama, allure and emotion — and unknowingly, Bizet created a character who turned into a cultural icon transcending time and boundaries.

“Carmen is a performance that represents female empowerment and sexuality, and incorporates society’s historical, yet arguably present, common fear toward it,” said Courtney Lewis, music director of the Jacksonville Symphony. “The thought-provoking, dramatic, emotional and powerful production will be heightened through our unique, ‘symphonically staged’ opera, where the symphony performs on an elevated playing space on the stage rather than traditionally in the pit, which is sure to convey an even more thrilling experience. We look forward to bringing this one-of-a-kind masterpiece to Jacksonville and our very own Jacoby Symphony Hall.”

Led by award-winning stage director Gregory Keller, who hails from the Metropolitan Opera, and conductor Lewis, the opera will unfold before audiences as they experience a journey that’s sure to capture hearts with its fiery story and also features a world-class cast of vocalists, the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and students from The Bolles School. Many of these operatic superstars have garnered top awards from across the globe and come from the Metropolitan Opera and other esteemed operatic houses.

Tickets start at $50 and are on sale now. For more information and to purchase tickets to see “Carmen,” go to JaxSymphony.org.