Theatre: Carmen

Carmen, a classic opera dating back to 1875, tells the tragic story of a Love Triangle between a corporal, a bull fighter, and the mysterious, exotic, alluring, hedonistic, independent, flirtatious gypsy woman simply known as Carmen.


This Work Provides Examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Carmen gets bored with the increasingly supplicating Don José and takes up with the flashy Escamillo instead.
    • Don Jose also fits this trope - behind his façade of propriety is a violent and dangerous individual. He is in the army when the opera begins, because he got into a fight (and probably killed the person who started it) over a game of tennis.
  • Badass Baritone: Escamillo, a classic example
    • Though not an evil one (he's only as violent as his job requires).
  • Beastly Bloodsports
  • Betty and Veronica: Micaela and Carmen for Don José
    • Male version: Don José and Escamillo for Carmen
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: The girls from the cigarette factory sing about how they like to watch the soldiers do this.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The snippet of the "Toreador" song is currently used as the AT&T commercial jingle. Skip to the last 3 seconds of the commercial.
  • The Cast Showoff: Whoever plays Carmen must be a great singer and a good dancer.
    • Any guy who plays Escamillo must be a prize show-off: let Sam Ramey show you how it is done.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Don José
  • Dance of Romance: Carmen dances for Don José when they are reunited in act II.
  • Destructive Romance: For both main characters, but especially Don José
    • Hard to see how it could have worked out worse for Carmen, mind...
  • Downer Ending
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Don José abandons every principle he has to be with Carmen, and then turns into a murderous Crazy Jealous Guy when she leaves him. But he still finds time to visit his dying mother one last time.
  • Green-Eyed Monster
  • Femme Fatale: Carmen
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: Carmen
  • "I Am" Song: Votre toast (Toreador's Song); possibly L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera)
  • If I Can't Have You
  • Incoming Ham: Hoo boy. Escamillo's arrival in Act II starts with a chorus singing his praises off-stage, then he comes in to a chorus singing his praise onstage, and then HE starts singing about how awesome he is.
  • Large Ham
  • Loved I Not Honor More: Don José tries to do this in Act II, resolving to leave the titular gypsy rather than desert the army as she demands. Unfortunately, just as he's about to walk out, his commander Lt. Zuniga walks in to have his own way with Carmen - José attacks him, leaving himself with no choice but to run away with Carmen after all.
  • Love Makes You Evil
  • Love Triangle: Micaela/José/Carmen and José/Carmen/Escamillo
  • The Male Ingenue Must Be A Tenor Though Jose is more for a loud, 'heavy' tenor voice and thus not really boyish.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Don José tries to kill Escamillo but doesn't succeed.
  • Outlaw Couple: Carmen and Don José eventually became this, but it doesn't last.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Carmen is one of the most popular and well-known operas.
  • Rated M for Manly: See Badass Baritone
  • Stalker with a Crush: Don José, by the end.
  • Romani: Carmen
  • Shout-Out: Escamillo might have been named after a famous female torero Nicolasa Escamilla, nicknamed La Pajuelera (Goya has made a famous picture of her).
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Escamillo
  • Tarot Troubles: Carmen, Frasquita and Mercedes read cards in Act III. Frasquita and Mercedes, being secondary characters, get romance and wealth, Carmen gets death.
  • Toros y Flamenco
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The original novel by Prosper Mérimée, anyway. The original Carmen may have been a Roma and worked for a while a cigarella... but she was also an influential campaigner for the rights of working women, and not a known criminal (it was actually her soldier-boyfriend- who may or may not have met her when his detachment were making an attack on a Romany camp- who went to prison, after killing a man in a fight over Carmen). Unfortunately the story of her death (well, her new man was a picador, not a toreador, but apart from that...) was true, and Merimee Flanderized the rest of the couple's life from that.
  • With Catlike Tread: "Écoute, écoute, compagnon" is a very loud song about how sneaky you have to be to smuggle cigarettes.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Carmen's reaction to the cards.