Bizet: Carmen

This page lists all recordings of Carmen, by Georges Bizet (1838-75) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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March 2015
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Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2011


STAGED BY: Calixto Bieito

In this prestigious production at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, world-famous and highly controversial stage director Calixto Bieito, admired for his raw and evocative stagings, sees in Carmen the embodiment of the mythical gypsy and touches upon sensitive issues such as racism, xenophobia and right-wing politics. Bieito conjures up a sensual and realistic atmosphere full of powerful symbolism.

An outstanding quartet of vocal stars, led by a “splendid and sensual” (El Periódico) Béatrice Uria-Monzon in the title role, delivers one of the most exciting Carmens in recent years: Roberto Alagna as Don José, Erwin Schrott as Escamillo and Marina Poplavskya as Micaëla.

SOUND FORMAT DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo

PICTURE: 16:9, HD

SUBTITLES: French (original language), English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Korean

BOOKLET: English, German, French

TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 155 mins

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 750208

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $43.75

Special: $39.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, June 2011


Christine Rice (Carmen), Bryan Hymel (Don José), Aris Argiris (Escamillo) & Maija Kovalevska (Micaëla)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Constantinos Carydis (conductor) & Francesca Zambello (stage director)

Julian Napier’s cinematic film of the Royal Opera’s production of Carmen – originally shot in 3D – is now made available on DVD and 2D Blu-ray. Arguably the world’s most popular opera, at the centre of this musical drama is the fiery Carmen, a gypsy woman whose love is as fleeting as it is passionate. Carmen has a devastating effect on the men she ensnares, and as the opera begins, she initiates an intense love affair with army corporal Don José. Later, when she abandons him for her new conquest, the bullfighter Escamillo, Don José’s jealousy turns to rage. This time, Carmen has pushed one suitor too far for her own good. In this characteristically vivid and vibrant stage production by Francesca Zambello, Seville is brought to life with ranks of soldiers, crowds of peasants, gypsies and bullfighters – as well as a magnificent horse, a donkey and even some chickens! Featuring the indomitable Bryan Hymel as Don José and Christine Rice in the title role, this compelling production of Bizet’s masterpiece has everything from intimate solos to rousing choruses, making it truly a musical event to remember.

Extra features: Carmen the opera and a Cast Gallery.

Running time: 155 minutes

Subtitles: EN/DE/FR/JAP/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1197D

(DVD Video)

$31.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, June 2011


Christine Rice (Carmen), Bryan Hymel (Don José), Aris Argiris (Escamillo) & Maija Kovalevska (Micaëla)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Constantinos Carydis (conductor) & Francesca Zambello (stage director)

Julian Napier’s cinematic film of the Royal Opera’s production of Carmen – originally shot in 3D – is now made available on DVD and 2D Blu-ray. Arguably the world’s most popular opera, at the centre of this musical drama is the fiery Carmen, a gypsy woman whose love is as fleeting as it is passionate. Carmen has a devastating effect on the men she ensnares, and as the opera begins, she initiates an intense love affair with army corporal Don José. Later, when she abandons him for her new conquest, the bullfighter Escamillo, Don José’s jealousy turns to rage. This time, Carmen has pushed one suitor too far for her own good. In this characteristically vivid and vibrant stage production by Francesca Zambello, Seville is brought to life with ranks of soldiers, crowds of peasants, gypsies and bullfighters – as well as a magnificent horse, a donkey and even some chickens! Featuring the indomitable Bryan Hymel as Don José and Christine Rice in the title role, this compelling production of Bizet’s masterpiece has everything from intimate solos to rousing choruses, making it truly a musical event to remember.

Extra features: Carmen the opera and a Cast Gallery.

Running time: 155 minutes

Subtitles: EN/DE/FR/JAP/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7188D

(Blu-ray)

$38.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen


Vesselina Kasarova (Carmen), Jonas Kaufmann (Don José), Isabel Rey (Micaela), Michele Pertusi (Escamillo)

Chor der Oper Zürich & Philharmonia Zurich, Franz Welser-Möst

In 2008 the Opernhaus Zurich staged this magnificent production starring virtuoso tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Don José and the Bulgarian Vesselina Kasarova as the flirtatious prima-donna of the title role. Mezzo-soprano Kasarova is dazzling as the tough-as-nails, beautifully unsentimental heroine – think classic Sophia Loren meets West Side Story.

Kaufmann, in the guise of a Spanish police officer, brilliantly portrays the blustering but naive Don José as a modern contrast of hard-edged machismo and out-of-his-depths vulnerability.

Director Matthias Hartmann refreshed one of the greatest and most popular operas of all time with touches of a contemporary setting and costume designs that emphasize the timeless archetypes of the characters. This production of Carmen enthralled audiences with the visceral physical quality of the performances, enhanced by a single panoramic set for all four acts that is stripped of the traditional Spanish styling.

Kaufmann superbly presents Don José as awkward, socially inept and doomed for disillusionment. Kasarova’s Carmen commands attention with a soft and sensual exterior that hides her ruthless and sinister heart in plain view.

Menus: English • Picture Format: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen • Colour Mode: Colour • Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

DVD Format: NTSC • Duration: 166 mins • Sound: 1 LPCM Stereo • 2 DTS Digital 5.1 Surround Subtitles: French (sung language), English, German

“Kaufmann is an immaculate Don José, living each turn of the drama vocally...However, it's [Kasarova's] Carmen who makes this production unforgettable. Not just her smoky mezzo dipping down into the chest register in the Habanera, but her gifts are an actress...All praise, too, for conductor Franz Welser-Möst and the Zurich Opera House Orchestra.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

“The work is performed with the Guiraud recitative but several of Hartmann's touches seems to want to emphasise its opera comique heritage...[Kaufmann] sings magnificently...despite some moments of self-indulgence...Pertusi's Escamillo is physically imposing but the voice lacks swagger.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

“[Kaufmann] is his usual magnificent self. He looks great and the voice is on superb form, able to spin out long, legato lines softly and to release cascades of power when needed...Pertusi's Escamillo is bull-headed, but hs sings the role handsomely...Isabel Rey's Micaela is stereotypical but well sung.” International Record Review, December 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Decca - 0743881

(DVD Video)

$17.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen


Vesselina Kasarova (Carmen), Jonas Kaufmann (Don José), Isabel Rey (Micaela), Michele Pertusi (Escamillo)

Chor der Oper Zürich & Philharmonia Zurich, Franz Welser-Möst

In 2008 the Opernhaus Zurich staged this magnificent production starring virtuoso tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Don José and the Bulgarian Vesselina Kasarova as the flirtatious prima-donna of the title role. Mezzo-soprano Kasarova is dazzling as the tough-as-nails, beautifully unsentimental heroine – think classic Sophia Loren meets West Side Story.

Kaufmann, in the guise of a Spanish police officer, brilliantly portrays the blustering but naive Don José as a modern contrast of hard-edged machismo and out-of-his-depths vulnerability.

Director Matthias Hartmann refreshed one of the greatest and most popular operas of all time with touches of a contemporary setting and costume designs that emphasize the timeless archetypes of the characters. This production of Carmen enthralled audiences with the visceral physical quality of the performances, enhanced by a single panoramic set for all four acts that is stripped of the traditional Spanish styling.

Kaufmann superbly presents Don José as awkward, socially inept and doomed for disillusionment. Kasarova’s Carmen commands attention with a soft and sensual exterior that hides her ruthless and sinister heart in plain view.

Menus: English • Picture Format: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen • Colour Mode: Colour • Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

“Kaufmann is an immaculate Don José, living each turn of the drama vocally...However, it's [Kasarova's] Carmen who makes this production unforgettable. Not just her smoky mezzo dipping down into the chest register in the Habanera, but her gifts are an actress...All praise, too, for conductor Franz Welser-Möst and the Zurich Opera House Orchestra.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

“The work is performed with the Guiraud recitative but several of Hartmann's touches seems to want to emphasise its opera comique heritage...[Kaufmann] sings magnificently...despite some moments of self-indulgence...Pertusi's Escamillo is physically imposing but the voice lacks swagger.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

“[Kaufmann] is his usual magnificent self. He looks great and the voice is on superb form, able to spin out long, legato lines softly and to release cascades of power when needed...Pertusi's Escamillo is bull-headed, but hs sings the role handsomely...Isabel Rey's Micaela is stereotypical but well sung.” International Record Review, December 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Decca - 0743882

(Blu-ray)

$23.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

sung in German


Christa Ludwig (Carmen), Melitta Muszely (Micaëla), Ursula Schirrmacher (Frasquita), Ursula Gust (Mercédès), Rudolf Schock (Don José), Hermann Prey (Escamillo), Leopold Clam (Dancairo), Karl-Ernst Mercker (Remendado), Iwan Rebroff (Zuniga) & Georg Völker (Moralès)

Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin & Berliner Symphoniker, Horst Stein

Bizet’s masterpiece sung in German by an all German cast, led by mezzo diva Christa Ludwig as Carmen, Rudolf Schock as the fiery Don José and macho Hermann Prey as Escamillo. A true highlight in the legendary Electrola Collection series of opera sung in German!

“[Ludwig] is absolutely stunning...She is superb, vocally and dramatically in the long second act duet scene with Don José, doom-laden in the card scene in act III and magnificent in the finale...[Muszely] sings with such enticing beauty in the duet with Don José in act I that one totally forgets that it is the ‘wrong’ language.” MusicWeb International, 26th July 2013

Warner Classics Electrola Collection - 9123002

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.00

(also available to download from $15.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

Oeser edition as used in Vienna (1964) (Vienna timing is 149')


Magdalena Kožená (Carmen), Jonas Kaufmann (Don José), Genia Kühmeier (Micaëla), Kostas Smoriginas (Escamillo), Christian van Horn (Zuniga), Andrè Schuen (Moralès), Christina Landshammer (Frasquita), Rachel Frenkel (Mercédès), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Remendado) & Simone del Savio (Dancairo)

Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin & Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

EMI Classics's studio opera recording of Bizet's Carmen marks the 10th anniversary of the artistic 'dream-team' partnership of Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Carmen is by far the most popular French opera and this recording is boasting a stellar cast with Magdalena Kožená in the title role and Jonas Kaufmann as Don José.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“this studio recording of Bizet’s opera compels attention for a variety of reasons...[Rattle and Kozena] stress their wish to return to the “chamber feeling” of the French tradition into which the work was born, rather than the “grand opera” tradition in which it is routinely draped.” Financial Times, 18th August 2012 ***

“The Berlin Philharmonic bring an intensified drama to the score without becoming weighty...theatricality is everywhere here, in what is one of the best-played Carmen recordings on disc...I'm glad [Kozena's Carmen] is recorded if only because it shows how beautifully the role can be sung while remaining largely convincing...What life and imagination [Kaufmann] brings to every phrase.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012

“[Kozena] brings something compelling and exciting to her portrayal of the amoral gypsy... In many ways [Kaufmann's] dark, sexy tenor evokes the Mediterranean colour that Kožená avoids...Be in no doubt, however, that if there is a star in this recording then it is the man on the podium. Rattle’s reading of the score bristles with vitality and his vision brings the Berlin Philharmonic to life in a way that few other orchestras could manage for this opera, especially on disc” MusicWeb International, August 2012

“no other recording brings out the crazily mismatched chemistry of the lovers to the same degree: it sounds as if the protagonists from an opera comique and a grand opera have been thrown together by some twist of fate....a refreshing, unhackneyed take on an opera which has been weighed down with clichés over the decades.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 20th August 2012

“Rattle’s Berliners offer a dynamic Vorsprung durch Technik Carmen...[Kozena] is a subtle, intelligent singer with not-bad French, but she never convincingly suggests she is inside the skin of the part, and sounds ill-matched to Jonas Kaufmann’s unhinged, fearsomely intense José in their final confrontation. The German tenor is the main reason for acquiring this set” Sunday Times, 26th August 2012

“[Kožená] is an intelligent Carmen, self-assured and self-determining, though you can't escape the facts that her voice sounds small and that the role, in places, is simply too low. The main reason to listen to the set is Jonas Kaufmann's beautifully sung, wonderfully perceptive José. The glamour in his tone is perfect, and so too are the hints early on of the nervous moodiness that will gradually become pathological” The Guardian, 13th September 2012 ***

“Kozena and Jonas Kaufmann are perfectly matched in the lead roles, bringing a persuasive emotional chemistry to Carmen and Don Jose’s doomed affair...the support of minor roles and choir is exceptional, particularly the enchanting urchins’ chorus provided by the Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin.” The Independent, 18th August 2012 *****

“what is pleasantly surprising is the success of Magdalena Kozená in the title role, which she presents as a convincingly cool and intelligent Carmen of real dignity and complex feelings...the Berlin Philharmonic lets down its hair and plays for Rattle with magnificent abandon. If you are tired of Carmen or think you know the score backwards, here is a performance to make you fall in love with it all over again.” The Telegraph, 24th August 2012 *****

“There’s much to enjoy. Never an opera specialist, Rattle digs out details that other maestros let slumber. The high-speed energy is infectious; and the microphones keep the orchestral sound lovely...Rattle offers Carmen the gorgeous symphonic experience” The Times, 17th August 2012 ***

Presto Disc of the Week

20th August 2012

Warner Classics - 4402852

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.25

(also available to download from $15.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen


Elina Garanča (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José), Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Escamillo), Barbara Frittoli (Micaela), Keith Miller (Zuniga), Elizabeth Caballero (Frasquita), Sandra Piques Eddy (Mercedes), Earle Patriarco (Dancaire), Keith Jameson (Remandado), Trevor Scheunemann (Morales)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Solo Dancers: Maria Kowroski & Martin Harvey

Production: Richard Eyre

Set & Costume Designer: Rob Howell

Lighting Designer: Peter Mumford

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

After her triumphant success as Carmen in Riga, London, and Munich, Elîna Garanča, “the Carmen of our day” (News, Austria), took the Met by storm when filmed live in January 2010.

Every generation has its “go to” Carmen. In 2010, the list of definitive gypsy seductresses – glittering with names like Baltsa, Bumbry, Calvé, Farrar, and Stevens – is enriched by the addition of Elîna Garanča.

The Wiener Zeitung said it all when it observed of Garanča’s Carmen that “the role and the singer are perfectly matched”.

This production was also seen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2009 with Garanča and Alagna in the lead roles.

2 DVD Set in 5.1 DTS surround sound.

Subtitles: French (orig. lang.), German, English, Spanish, Chinese

“This is a calculating Carmen, who knows the worth of her assets. Some of her wily intelligence is reflected in the voice — strong in all reaches, flaming at the top...[Tahu Rhodes] prov[es] himself to be an ideal toreador, virile of voice, and very tall. All in all, a Carmen well worth seeing and hearing.” The Times, 28th August 2010

“...everyone on stage, from stars to comprimarios and children (authentically underfoot), crackles with individual life, ideal on video... Garanča's clean-cut Baltic mezzo and fresh good looks suggest not the stereotypical gypsy wench, but a free spirit, intelligent and wilful” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 *****

“Here is an opera DVD where, rare in my experience, each individual element matches the excellence of the others: production, cast, performance, film direction and use of the medium....Garanča has a fine sparring partner in Alagna - both roles are as well acted as they are sung...Halvorson's fluent direction conveys a real sense of occasion to the whole evening.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2010

“Elina Garanca's striking Carmen and Barbara Frittoli's Micaela stand out, with Alagna unexpectedly affecting as Don Jose.” The Observer, 19th December 2010

“Garanča is right up there with the best. She sings with a seductive and alluring tone, and her technique is superb. The combination of her film star looks and her natural acting draw you into her character completely...Alagna also makes an excellent Don José. I think this is one of his strongest roles and he sings with both real power and refinement.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 23rd August 2010

“Not only does Ms Garanča sing with wonderful enunciation, but also with meaning and a wide variety of tonal colour. In her singing and acting she exudes Carmen’s sexuality whilst not over-egging it with hip swinging and flaunting...Along with Elina Garanča, the big plus of the performance is found in Yannick Nézet-Séguin. His idiomatic conducting has verve, vitality and sensitivity.” MusicWeb International, August 2010

Presto Disc of the Week

23rd August 2010

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - November 2010

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG - 0734581

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$28.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen


Julia Migenes (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Faith Esham (Micaëla), Ruggero Raimondi (Escamillo), John Paul Bogart (Zuniga), François Le Roux (Moralès), Lillian Watson (Frasquita), Susan Daniel (Mercédès), Jean-Philippe Lafont (Le Dancaïre), Gérard Garino (Le Remendado), Julien Guiomar (Lillas Pastia) & Accurzio di Leo (Un Guide)

Choeurs et Maîtrise de Radio France & Orchestre National de France, Lorin Maazel

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2015

Erato - The Opera Collection - 2564682961

(CD - 2 discs)

$17.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bizet: Carmen

Bizet: Carmen


Maria Callas (Carmen), Nicolai Gedda (Don José), Andréa Guiot (Micaëla), Robert Massard (Escamillo), Nadine Sautereau (Frasquita), Jane Berbié (Mercédès), Jean-Paul Vauquelin (Le Dancaïre), Jacques Pruvost (Le Remendado), Claude Cales (Moralès), Jacques Mars (Zuniga)

Chœurs René Duclos, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris & Chœurs d’enfants Jean Pesneaud, Georges Prêtre

The brand new series celebrates EMI - The Home of Opera with Pretre's legendary recording of Carmen with Maria Callas and Nicolai Gedda. Includes complete libretto and synopsis on a bonus CD ROM.

EMI - The Opera Series - 9667172

(CD - 2 discs)

$19.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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