The Spanish Carmen is a myth that remains at the top of the collective imagination - national and international - since Merimée published his novel and Bizet premiered his opera. The question we can ask ourselves is, why are we still fascinated by Carmen, 175 years later?
Today Carmen’s tragedy would appear in the news as just another case of gender violence. But what endures are the impulses that move her, her desire for freedom, freedom to deal freely with men, equality, will to choose for herself and decide her own destiny. Carmen is the master of herself, there is no man who can bend her. Her vital impulse is the same one that today moves many women who continue to demand the same things Carmen finally dies for. Carmen is also strength, joy, courage, capacity for transgression, she is a symbol of freedom. And Carmen, from this point of view, is a timeless story that can represent some of the rights that women have been fighting for and achieving over the last two centuries.
Carmen could be a well-known singer today. This parallelism allows us to approach a staging of Carmen for a modern audience, in such a way that her story can be understood from the present. Carmen is a woman of today, but finds herself incapable of freeing from a mistaken love: Don José, a possessive, jealous man, incapable of taking no for an answer.