When watching Carmen one cannot favour a specific scene since each part has a flavour of its own, keeping the atmosphere thrilling, playful and thought-provoking.

As the music of Carmen oozed out of every corner in the exquisite Emirates Palace auditorium, pleasant sounds ranging from skirling bagpipes, metallic triangles, jingling tambourines, flutes and castanets to the familiar rhythmic hand clapping and flamenco guitar added a blend of excitement to the scenes accompanied by the vibrant voices on stage.

Spanish Theme

A mixture of ballet and flamenco dancing established the Spanish theme of the performance. One of the most captivating scenes was when Carmen herself briefly danced the flamenco for her beloved Jose. Although the main drama existed between the central characters, the group of dancers played an important role in enchanting the spectators.

The costumes worn on stage were perfectly made and artistically fitted for each character. They ranged from lieutenant, corporal, bullfighter and smuggler for the gentlemen to gypsy, country girl, big frilly dresses and colourful flamenco outfits for the ladies, who also had exotic hairdos, especially apparent with Carmen's red rose placed on the side of her hair.

The colourful ambience and simple, yet intriguing, decoration on stage allowed each of the cast members to stand out as the rest of the hall was pitch black; this fitted the inspired composers use of colour musically.


The spirt of passion and affection on stage left the audience under the spell of Carmen. The show lasted four hours with short intervals. After each interval the crowd strongly applauded the orchestra who managed to add a cohesive artistic whole to the opera each time they returned to their seats.

Thursday night, the first day for the showing, was not a full house. However, the cast received overwhelming stage applause at the end of the theatrical masterpiece.

Watching the entire cast sing the magnificent heights of Carmen was a gripping experience for visitors young and old, who were left hypnotised by the seductive young Carmen.