Music by Georges Bizet, Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
Created Advanced Scenic Design, taught by David Reynoso at University of California, San Diego.
Carmen is a story about two conflicting worldviews: Carmen's, which values freedom, individuality, and sexual liberation, and Don Jose's, which values order, tradition, and patriarchal power. Their characters are fundamentally defined in opposition, and their tragedy is inevitable.
This interpretation resets the story in the early 1980s, following the death of dictator Francisco Franco. Don Jose and Carmen serve as symbols of an existential conflict between fascism and democracy that defined this era of Spanish history.
Eight enormous columns and a panoramic frieze - emblematic of the aesthetics of fascist architecture - dominate the space. This architecture is toppled, eroded, walked upon, and ultimately rebuilt as the conflict between these characters and their ideologies plays out to their violent ends.