The adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera about a naive soldier's downfall through the seduction of a wild gypsy features a music adaptation by Arturo O'Farrill. Tony nominee Moisés Kaufman (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, 33 Variations) will direct.
The musical will be set in Cuba in 1958, prior to the breakout of the revolution — at the height of oppression of the Batista regime.
"Mr. Kaufman has partnered with one of the most prominent Afro-Cuban musicians & composers in the U.S., Arturo O'Farrill, and they’re adapting Bizet's music to an Afro-Cuban jazz score. This contemporary adaptation has expanded the opera’s musical vocabulary and palate, using a combination of original melodies and new Afro-Cuban Jazz materials," press notes state. "The iconic arias and duets are morphed into several different Afro Latin forms. The production will make use of both Bizet's magnificent melodies and O'Farrill's expertise to transpose the action of the story from Seville 1810 to Cuba 1958."
Bizet's opera has been adapted numerous times since its initial premiere, including the 1943 musical Carmen Jones; the 1984 film "Carmen," featuring Plácido Domingo; and the 2001 film "Carmen: A Hip Hopera," starring Beyoncé Knowles.