Knoxville Opera Presents Bizet’s Carmen on Valentine’s Weekend

Knoxville Opera proudly presents two exclusive performances of Bizet’s Carmen on Friday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the city’s hallmark Tennessee Theatre. Maestro Brian Salesky will host a special opera preview session 45 minutes prior to each performance. Carmen, recognized for its Spanish-inspired plot of passion, features familiar melodies like “La Habanera” and is one of several productions in Knoxville Opera’s 37th season.

“Carmen is one of the most famous operas that illustrates the vulnerability of the heart,” said Maestro Brian Salesky. “Audience members will get caught up in the plot’s romantic twists and turns, sung by the powerful voices in our distinguished cast.”

Carmen, the opera’s namesake, is a captivating gypsy in the town of Seville, Spain. Her seductive power has no mercy as she struggles to find love. Through a series of events, Carmen employs her flirtatious skills to disrupt the lives of those around her. She is an empowered woman who refuses to be tamed, with an inward fear of settling down. Carmen’s manipulative beauty and misuse of it draw only superficial, temporary attention; yet her inability to open her heart becomes a wakeup call for those she has hurt. The opera’s final scene is one of redemptive irony. 

Audrey Babcock plays the role of Carmen, accompanied by an all-star cast including Brian Cheney, Ryan Kuster, Briana Hunter and Zulimar López-Hernández who captivated audiences in 2012’s Romeo & Juliette. A synopsis of Carmen, along with the cast bios, can be viewed here. Ticket prices begin at $18 and can be purchased here or by visiting To speak with a Knoxville Opera representative, call 865-524-0795 x28.