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Carmen - the King's Head Theatre's first opera of 2019

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE King’s Head Theatre has announced its first opera of 2019. A radical new take on the world’s greatest tragedy, Carmen, in a new English version by Ashley Pearson and Mary Franklin, it runs from Thursday, February 7 to Saturday, March 9, 2019.

The Olivier Award nominated producers of La Traviata, La bohème and Tosca present what is described as a vivid, compelling and devastatingly powerful take on Georges Bizet’s masterpiece.

Carmen works zero-hour, minimum wage jobs on the frontline of Britain’s crumbling industry. Jose falls madly in love with her, but soon his passion morphs into something uglier, and far more troubling, and Carmen realises she might have made a fatal mistake…

Sung in English, and blending stark emotional realism with some of the world’s most beloved music, this highly original new production examines toxic relationships in a society on the brink of collapse.

Artistic Director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher said: “At the King’s Head Theatre, we believe passionately in disrupting the preconceptions and conventional wisdom of how to make opera. I’m overjoyed to be working with Ashley, Juliane and Mary, who began her career with us as a Trainee Resident Director, as they tear up the rulebook. Their bold, fresh, uncompromising take on Carmen is like nothing you’ll have ever seen before!”

Director, Mary Franklin, added: “Carmen is not a femme fatale, she is simply a young woman who falls out of love. Almost every woman in the world can relate to her story. It’s a story of the uncontrollable nature of love and lust, and of what happens after happily ever after.”

Musical director is Juliane Gallant.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 0207 226 8561 or visit

Also coming to the King’s Head Theatre: Gigglemug Theatre’s production of Timpson: The Musical (February 18 to March 8) and Fat Rascal Theatre’s hit Edinburgh show Vulvarine (June 11 to July 6, 2019).