Carmen, a tempestuous opera written by Georges Bizet, is set in the city of Seville, Spain. Carmen is sexy and capricious, and freely taunts the soldiers around her saying she will love or discard whom she chooses just as she pleases. But, after attacking another woman at the cigarette factory with a knife Carmen has to use her seductive skills on her guard, Don Jose, to escape going to prison. Passion between Don Jose and Carmen, and Escamillo, a celebrated toreador who is infatuated with her, leads to jealousy, violence and death. Rinat Shaham with her sublime singing dominates the bull-fighting arena as the provocative and alluring Carmen, while Dmytro Popov portrays Don Jose with a perfect mix of naivety and mad desire, his rich tenor rolling out across the bay. Andrew Jones gives a strong dramatic presence as Escamillo, and Nicole Car, one of Australia's best young operatic voices, is the sweet Micaela. With the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and conductor Brian Castles-Onion, a gritty set design, sumptuous bold costumes, stunning choreography, and the inestimable direction of Gale Edwards and Bizet's glorious opera is brought to life like never before in this second Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.