“He does have a very strong point of view,” says Esther Nelson of Catalan director Calixto Bieito, whose sultry and sensual production of Carmen (seen here at London’s English National Opera) ignites the Boston Opera House this fall.
The Boston Lyric Opera dropped a bombshell last fall when it announced it was leaving the Shubert Theatre, its longtime home, as a cost-saving measure. But worry not—while the BLO may be temporarily homeless, it’s certainly not aimless. The company kicks off its 40th anniversary season this September with a daring production of Carmen, staged, fittingly, at the Boston Opera House (one of its venues this season).
It will be the first time opera has been presented at the opulent theater since famed impresario Sarah Caldwell’s company closed in 1990. And hold on to your hats: The so-called “bad boy of opera” is the force behind this season-premiere show. Catalan director Calixto Bieito is famed throughout Europe for his provocative interpretations of opera classics. This production of Carmen, which tells the story of the namesake femme fatale and her obsessive lover in post-Franco Spain, and which will be co-produced with the San Francisco Opera, marks Bieito’s US debut.
And what an introduction—his sultry staging even comes with a nudity warning. “[Bieito] does have a point of view, and he’s very strong about it,” says BLO General and Artistic Director Esther Nelson, who points out that no aspect of the work is gratuitous. “It’s a striking show. It owns what it is,” she says, making Carmen the hottest entry into Boston’s new theater season. September 23– October 2. 539 Washington St., 617-259-3400