The theater season 2021/2022 final stage show the Niš audience may attend is opera Carmen by George Bizet, with conductor Dejan Savić to master the baton at the Summer Stage in the Niš Fortress, on June 27 at 20.30 hours. The opera whereof the premiere performance was held at the National Theater in Niš on June 14 and 17, is directed by Ivan Vuković.

Opera Carmen represents a joint project of The Niš Symphony Orchestra, The Faculty of Arts in Niš and the National Theater in Niš. The performance is held under the auspices of The City of Niš.

Apart from conductor Dejan Savić, the second cast is managed by lady conductor Dijana Cvetković, whereas the rest of the authorial team includes an associate conductor Zoran Andrić, the concert masters Sanja Jović and Stanislava Alađozovski, the accompanists Mina Krasić and Anita Zdravković, as well as the choir conductor Ivana Mirović. The costume designer is Dejan Gocić, the set designer is Katarina Pavlović, the choreographer is Ana Kazimić, while Marko Pavlovski is in charge of the stage movement.

The cast and vocals on June 27 are the following artists: Aleksandra Ristić (Carmen, a gypsy woman); Saša Arsenkov (Don José, a corporal of dragoons); Marko Milisavljević (Escamillo, a matador); Katarina Simonović Ivanković (Mikaëla, a peasant girl); Lazar Lazarević (Moralès, an officer); Jelena Jovanović (Frasquita, a gipsy friend of Carmen); Nena Đurić (Mercédès, a gipsy friend of Carmen); Emil Verzio (Zuniga, a captain), Lazar Lazarević (Le Dankaïre, smuggler); Nikola Stamenković (Le Remendado, smuggler); Maestrini – The Niš  Faculty of Arts Choir (people, soldiers, smugglers).

The price of the ticket is 600 dinars, 400 with a discount for students, pupils and pensioners. Tickets can be purchased at the Theater box office. The working hours of the box office this week are 15.00-20.00 hours.

Bizet’s most famous work is certainly the opera Carmen, written in 1875, based on the namesake play by Prosper Mérimée. This opera’s premiere performance was a complete failure. Unaccustomed to such a plot and unusual orchestration, the audience had initially been bored, and later on even protested by whistling and being loud. The catastrophe got enhanced by bad reviews in the followng day press releases. Nevertheless, the opera received praise by true music connoisseurs – Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Brahms, who attended the opera performance twenty times and claimed it was the greatest opera ever written.

As time went on, Carmen indeed achieved unprecedented success and became the most famous opera ever, nonetheless, without Bizet witnessing it. The effort he put into the production and preparation of the opera, as well as the enormous disappointment over its premiere performance failure, were too big a misfortune for him to handle. He died of a heart attack at the age of 36, on June 3, 1875, just a few months after the tragic premiere performance.