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Music & Culture

Bregenzer Festspiele Opera on the lake

19 July - 20 August 2018

Events and packages list

Bregenzer Festspiele Opera on the lake

Carmen by Georges Bizet - an opera about fate and obsession

Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”, based on the story of the same name by Prosper Mérimée, is one of the most successful pieces in the opera’s repertoire. Since its premiere, the enigmatic title figure and her tragic destiny have held a great fascination for the audience. Who is this woman who demands self-determination and freedom, who constantly puts herself in danger?

Carmen was described as amoral and selfish, as a seductress and a criminal. But she is one thing above all: a woman who resolutely follows her life’s path to its end, and in doing so accepts the potential consequences of her own death as well as the demise of those around her. From the very beginning, her journey through life is haunted by the shadow of death.

Here, three men determine Carmen’s fate: the lieutenant Zuniga, who wants to control her and limit her freedom of movement, the sergeant Don José, who jealously follows her with his love and ultimately becomes her murderer, and the torero Escamillo, to whom Carmen feels the closest connection, since he, just like her, constantly exposes himself to danger in the arena in order to experience his personal limits in a new way. In this environment, from which for her there is no escape, Carmen tries to assert her own freedom. The premiere takes place on 19 July 2018 on the lake stage in Bregenz.

Georges Bizet

The composer Georges Bizet - real name Alexandre César Léopold - was born on 25 October 1838 in Paris. He studied piano, theory and composition at the conservatory there. At 19 years of age, Bizet won the Rome Prize. After his return from Rome, he then worked as a private music teacher, répétiteur and stage composer. Bizet’s principal work, the opera “Carmen”, was a flop among the Paris critics at its premiere in March 1875. Not until its début in Vienna in October did it experience broad success. However, Bizet was no longer around to see this: he died of chronic throat and heart failure on 3 June 1875 in Bougival near Paris.

Bregenz lake stage

The Bregenz lake stage is the largest floating stage in Europe. The picturesque view over the Bodensee and the spectacular sunset make the production on the lake an unforgettable event. Carmen is an opera in three acts, in French with German supertitles. Production Kasper Holten. Stage Es Devlin. Musical direction by Paolo Carignani. The ancillary programme of the Bregenz Festival also includes additional concerts, readings and a comprehensive family programme. You can learn more at

Hotel Post Bezau Festival Package

The festival package at Hotel Post Bezau includes 2 overnight stays with Post Premium board, a festival menu, the transfer from Bezau to Bregenz as well as a selection of fine cheeses after you return. Naturally, you can get your festival tickets directly from us.

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