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Beyond Carmen

Created by: Audrey Babcock

An homage to Bizet's Carmen mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock weaves legends of the Old World into a 21st-century musical tapestry that spans generations and genres—from classical to tango, medieval to modern. With musical partner, guitarist, arranger, Andrés Vadin.

Audrey Babcock - Voice, Flute, Percussion, Co-arranger

Andres Vadin - Flamenco Guitar, Percussion, Arranger

Original Production

California Institute of the Arts 2017

Additional Production dates

November 2019 - Delaware Opera

Santa Cecilia Orchestra 2022

August 2022 and August 2023 - Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater

April 2024 - Opera Southwest


Duration: Flexible program. One to two hours, with or without intermission

Director's Note

Carmen. There is no more iconic woman in Operatic history. She is so singled out that her image has become mainstream and is synonymous with the Femme Fatale. There is no image, no legend, no creature, more riddled with weaponized femininity then my beloved, Carmencita. Carmen’s origin story is rich—it has been written that the author of the original novella, Prosper Mérimée, derived his inspiration for this illusory gypsy from a real-life Sephardic Jew. Though Jews were exotic at the time, Gypsies had a more solid reputation for nefariousness and made a more daring choice for his Parisian newspaper-reading audience. With will explore her Sephardic roots, singing in Ladino or “Judeo Spanish”, similar to ancient Castilian Spanish. We will play with the rhythms, textures, and accents of the marginalized people of the diaspora, and most of all we will sing and cry out for the misunderstood experience of being fiercely female in a time that saw a woman’s strength as something dangerous, dark, and destined for annihilation.




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