Carmen on the silver and small screens

Look up most major opera composers on IMDb and you’ll get a list with hundreds of credits. Georges Bizet –famous composer of Carmen– is no exception. Music from Carmen can be heard in a variety of works, including the Pixar film Up. Carmen has also inspired several film adaptions, including the Academy-award nominated 1954 Carmen Jones.

We’ve rounded up some uses of Carmen on the silver and small screens to check out before seeing our production on September 9.


In Up, Carl Frederickson, following the death of his wife Ellie, fulfills his lifelong dream of moving to Paradise Falls, but unbeknownst to him, eight-year-old Russell has tagged along. “Habanera” from Carmen is used early in the film, showcasing the monotony of Carl’s life without his wife.


In a completely different usage, “Habanera” is featured in season 1 of HBO’s Westworld. The show is about a near future, where humans pay to get into a western theme park and live out their wildest fantasies.

In this scene, “Habanera” plays as thieves rob the local saloon.

Carmen Jones

In 1943, Carmen Jones premiered on Broadway. The musical featured English text to Bizet’s musical and an all African-American cast. Eleven years later after its Broadway debut, a film version of Carmen Jones opened starring Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen.


Carlos Saura’s 1983 film Carmen turns Bizet’s opera into a story within a story. In the film, famous Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades and his company are putting together a dance version of Carmen. Story and reality are blurred when he falls for the woman he casts as Carmen.

Carmen A Hip-Hopera

If you’ve ever wondered what Beyoncé would be like as Carmen, watch the 2001 Carmen: A Hip-Hopera. Set in contemporary Los Angeles, she stars opposite Mekhi Phifer as her love interest, and Bizet’s music is infused into hip-hop and R&B tunes.

To learn more about and purchase tickets to Carmen, click here.


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