Tectonic Theater Project




This adaptation transfers Bizet’s opera Carmen from 1830s Seville to Cuba in 1958, using Afro-Cuban jazz music to interpret Bizet’s melodies, and re-imagining the titular gypsy from Seville as a rebel in Havana.

This contemporary reworking of Bizet’s opera lives somewhere between Baz Luhrman’s LaBoheme and Rogers & Hammerstein’s Carmen Jones: a hybrid finding a vocabulary that allows for the  heritage of gypsies of Spain and the rebels in Cuba to find a new voice. In this context, Tectonic’s production is expanding the opera’s musical vocabulary and palate to realize Bizet’s vision. Using a combination of original melodies and new material, the iconic arias and duets are morphed into a distinctive musical language that will allow for an exploration of the intricacies of the story in the new setting. The expansion of compositional tools afforded the libretto makes this project a truly exciting adventure. This is music, theater, dance and most of all, opera of the highest order.

Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical


February 10th-March 6th: Regional Theater Premiere at Olney Theatre Center 

Book by Moisés Kaufman & Eduardo Machado

Lyrics by Moisés Kaufman

Music Composed & Adapted by Arturo O’Farrill

Based on the Opera by Georges Bizet

Music Direction by Christopher Youstra

Choreography by Sergio Trujillo

Directed by Moisés Kaufman

Featuring George Akram, Sumayya Ali, Michelle Alves, Brandon Andrus, Skizzo Arnedillo, Moses Bernal, Ronald Bruce, Tiffany Byrd, Briana Carlson-Goodman, Karla Choko, Nick Duckart, Nurney, Alejandra Matos, Calvin McCullough, Jose Ozuna, Christina Sajous, Caesar Samayoa, Kara-Tameika Watkins


March: Dance workshop featuring choreography by Sergio Trujillo

December: Dance workshop featuring choreography by Sergio Trujillo


June: Carmen was presented at Guggenheim Works-in-Process

November: Carmen: A New Afro-Cuban Musical in Development was presented in conjunction with the University of Miami Department of Theater Arts  (see photos below)


October: Carmen’s first workshop presentation

November: Carmen’s second workshop presentation

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