The Cultural Center of the Philippines

with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc. and

Ayala Malls Cinemas



May 7, 2024 | 5:30 PM

CCP @ Ayala Malls Cinemas

Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1, Makati City



Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell brings a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score.


Carmen is celebrated for its powerful music, compelling characters, and timeless story, making it one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the world. Considered a groundbreaking composition, Bizet’s music in this opera is known for its innovative use of Spanish themes and rhythms, which was groundbreaking for its time. The opera’s score incorporates elements of Spanish folk music, giving it a unique and exotic flavor.


The Met: Live in HD Season 8 is a series of screenings of the latest performances by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, delivered in high-definition video and Dolby Surround Sound.



Ticket Price:

Php 350 – Regular Price

Php 100 – Students and Young Professionals

Visit the ticket booth or book your tickets at



“Carmen” by Georges Bizet

Estimated Running Time: 2 hrs 46 min



A contemporary American industrial town. Outside a cigarette factory, a group of soldiers guarding the border comment on the passers-by. A newly arrived young woman, Micaëla, asks for a soldier named Don José. Moralès, his colleague, tells her that Don José will return when the next shift begins. When the shift change, led by Zuniga, their commanding officer, occurs and José returns, Moralès tells José that Micaëla has been looking for him. The factory bell rings, and the men gather to watch the female workers—especially their favorite, Carmen. She tells the men that love is free and obeys no rules. Only one man ignores her: Don José. Carmen throws a flower at him, and the women go back to work. José picks up the flower and hides it when Micaëla returns. She brings a letter from José’s mother, who lives in the countryside. After Micaëla leaves, José reads the letter. He is about to throw away the flower when a fight erupts inside the factory between Carmen and another woman. Zuniga sends José in to remove Carmen, but when he brings her back outside, she refuses to answer Zuniga’s questions, and José is ordered to lock her up. Left alone with him, she entices José with suggestions of a rendezvous at a private party outside of town. Mesmerized, he agrees to let her get away. As he brings her to the lockup, Don José lets Carmen escape, and he is arrested.



Carmen and her friends Frasquita and Mercédès entertain a group of locals who have gathered in the cargo hold of a tractor-trailer truck to party. Zuniga tells Carmen that José has just been released from custody. Escamillo, a rodeo star, drives along the freeway with his entourage. The vehicles stop, and people spill out onto the road, listening to Escamillo boasting about his profession. He flirts with Carmen, who tells him that she is involved with someone else. Most of the partiers depart with Escamillo, leaving Carmen and her friends with the smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado, who try to convince the women to get involved in their smuggling scheme. Frasquita and Mercédès are willing to help, but Carmen refuses because she is in love. Dancaïre and Remendado withdraw as José approaches. Carmen and José are left at a deserted gas station. Carmen arouses his jealousy by telling him how she danced for Zuniga. She dances for José now, but when a signal sounds in the distance, he says that he must return to duty. Carmen mocks him. To prove his love, José shows her the flower that she threw at him when they met and confesses how its scent helped him hold onto hope while he was in lockup. She is unimpressed: If he really loved her, he would quit the army and join her in a life of freedom in the mountains. José refuses, and Carmen tells him to leave. Zuniga arrives at the gas station looking for Carmen, and in a jealous rage, José fights him. The smugglers return and disarm Zuniga. José, having assaulted his superior officer, now has no choice but to join them.



The truck, last seen flying down the highway, has crashed at a high mountain pass. Smoke rises from the shattered vehicle, and women are climbing out of the back of the truck as smugglers start to remove large boxes of guns to bring them across the border. Carmen and José quarrel, and she admits that her love is fading and advises him to return to live with his mother. When Frasquita and Mercédès turn the cards to tell their fortunes, they foresee love and money for themselves, but Carmen’s cards spell death—for her and for José. Micaëla appears, frightened by the remote location and afraid to meet the woman who has turned José into a criminal. She hides when a shot rings out—José has fired at an intruder, who turns out to be Escamillo. He tells José that he has come to find Carmen, and the two men fight. The smugglers separate them, and Escamillo invites everyone, particularly Carmen, to see him compete in the next rodeo. When he has left, Micaëla emerges and begs José to return home. He agrees when he learns that his mother is dying, but before he leaves, he warns Carmen that they will meet again.



In a vast rodeo arena, a vibrant and noisy crowd gathers. Carmen arrives on Escamillo’s arm, surrounded by his rodeo entourage. Frasquita and Mercédès come to warn her that José is nearby and can be seen watching her. Unafraid, she waits outside the entrance as the crowds enter the arena. José appears and begs Carmen to forget the past and start a new life with him. She calmly tells him that their affair is over: She was born free and will live free until she dies. The crowd is heard cheering Escamillo. José persists in trying to win Carmen back. She takes off his ring and throws it at his feet before heading for the arena. José stabs her to death.

Other Events