carmen landscape fire

PC: Min Joo Yi

Carmen and Roesia is the tragic love story of two girls, and how Carmen becomes a serial seducer of men in order to fill the void of her passionate but ultimately unsuccessful relationship with her true love, Roesia. The story takes place in a tobacco factory in Seville, Spain, during the mid 19th century. It takes inspiration and fills in a missing plot component from Georges Bizet’s 19th century opera, Carmen.

This project will be done in collaboration with Xelana Duo, the celebrated and highly sought-after bassoon and saxophone duo in New York City


Carmen: Irene Sivianes

Roesia: Rachel Thalman

Mercedes: Anneke Belman

Frasquita: Jennie Harary

Don José: Raeman Kilfoil

The scene opens with Carmen and Roesia, two lovers and gypsy girls, intimately sitting with one another. After a moment of delicate flirtation, Carmen presents Roesia a rose, who blushes noticeably. Suddenly, Frasquita and Mercedes, friends of Carmen, burst into the factory, and playfully snatch the rose. They play catch while an embarrassed Roesia tries to retrieve it. Finally, Frasquita takes the rose and, as a joke, flirtatiously presents it to Carmen. Carmen, who is devilish and coy, smirks at Roesia, accepts the rose, and flirts back. Roesia feigns apathy but becomes jealous. In a huff, Roesia runs out of factory. Carmen, Mercedes, and Frasquita laugh playfully.

Outside, Roesia is jealous and angry with Carmen. After a little while she sees Don José, a soldier, sitting alone. Suddenly, Carmen walks out of the factory. Roesia sees her, and is immediately overtaken with rage. She walks over to Don José and, after looking at Carmen, flirts with him. After successfully making Carmen jealous, she smiles and walks away. Carmen walks over to Don José and, after a brief flirtation of her own, presents him the rose. Roesia, who was watching from afar, in a fury, runs into the factory. Carmen follows.

Inside the factory Carmen and Roesia argue. The argument spirals quite intensely. In her rage, Carmen attacks Roesia. Roesia runs away. Mercedes and Frasquita run in and rush Carmen away, who sobs bitterly.


In Bizet’s version of Carmen, Carmen is presented as a seductive girl who toys with the hearts of men. Our story fits  as a theoretical prologue to Bizet’s version, because, in the opera, Carmen does present Don José a rose, and additionally attacks an unnamed girl. This means that our libretto is a realistic and plausible extension of Bizet’s original story.