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Carmen, 2020, Justina Gringyté, Sean Panikkar, by Richard Hubert Smith

With its searing depiction of a woman who craves love, but creates obsession and jealousy, it's no surprise that Carmen is one of the most popular operas ever written. Calixto Bieito's visually striking staging explores the complex relationships between the sexes and is played out in a symbolic bull-ring arena at the tail-end of Franco's regime in the 1970s. In 2019, this acclaimed production was revived for the second time, conducted by ENO Mackerras Fellow Valentina Peleggi.