Announcing Carmen


MCSO Contact: Rachel Bittner
P: (612)875-5544

Media Contact: Anne Q. Ulseth
P: (612)272-0588



July 13-24, 2018
Mill City Summer Opera | Mill City Ruins Courtyard
704 S. Second St., Minneapolis, MN 55401
Tickets:  $50-$125 ($200-$250 Opening Night tickets on sale now; for MCSO donors on May 14; for the general public on May 21)
Ticket Office: or 612-875-5544


Mill City Summer Opera presents Carmen this July and returns to the historic Mill City Ruins Courtyard for all performances,
July 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22 and 24
Tickets on sale in May


(Minneapolis; March 6, 2018) — Mill City Summer Opera (MSCO) will present Bizet’s Carmen for its spectacular seventh season, returning to the magical Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard in July, and featuring top national and international opera talent.

One of the world’s most popular operas, the epochal Carmen is set in 19th century Spain and deals with the love and jealousy of Don José, who is lured away from his duty as a soldier and his beloved Micaela by the cigar factory-girl Carmen.

Brian DeMaris, in his seventh season as Music Director of MCSO, will also be serving as Interim Artistic Director for the 2018 season.

Making her first appearance as stage director with MCSO will be Fenlon Lamb. Lamb is a singing actress turned stage director who has both performed and directed Carmen.

Lamb’s creativity, paired with our first-rate cast and venue, will sweep the audience directly into the drama, bursting with love and jealousy.
— Brian DeMaris

“We are thrilled to bring Fenlon Lamb and her artistry to direct at this striking and unique venue,” said DeMaris. “Lamb’s creativity, paired with our first-rate cast and venue, will sweep the audience directly into the drama, bursting with love and jealousy.”

Singing the role of Carmen will be Audrey Babcock. A seasoned veteran, the Salt Lake Tribune described her Carmen as “a spellbinding tour de force… her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthly allure.”

Babcock continues her run of more than 100 performances in the role with tenor Adam Diegel as Don José, returning to MCSO after his performances in Tosca in 2014. With his leading man looks, dramatic sense, and spell-binding tenor voice, MCSO looks forward to Diegel's reprise of the role after performances at Opera Theater St. Louis, English National Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival.






Karen Slack, soprano, seen this winter as Sister Rose in Minnesota Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking, and Luis Orozco, performing last summer as el Payador on MCSO’s Maria de Buenos Aires, will round out this exciting cast. Slack will sing the role of Micaela and Orozco will perform as Escamillo.

Returning to design the sets for 2018 is Narelle Sissons whose work at MCSO has included set designs for Pagliacci and Sweeney Todd. Augsburg College faculty member, Sarah Bahr, will design the costumes, Nate Wheatley the lighting, and Jason Allen will return for his seventh season as wig and make-up designer.

MCSO is thrilled to return to the Mill City Museum after a summer of renovations for the Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard. The opera company will delight audiences with performances in the only American venue where world-class opera is performed in ruins under the stars. The Ruin Courtyard will provide the perfect setting for the richness and sensuality of Carmen, as the stone walls and river vistas serve as the backdrop to inevitable challenge between Carmen and Don José at the bullring.


Performance Dates and Times

• Opening Night – Friday, July 13, pre-party at 6 pm, performance at 7:30 pm, with after-party
• Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 pm
• Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 pm
• Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 pm
• Friday, July 20 at 7:30 pm
• Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 pm
• Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 pm



Opening Night tickets ($200-$250) include entry to the pre-party, reserved seating for the performance and an after-party with the cast are now on sale through MCSO at 612-875-5544 or online at

Tickets ($50-$125) for all other performances will be available for purchase for donors of $250 or more beginning 10 am on Monday, May 14, through MCSO, 612-875-5544 or online at Tickets will be on sale to the general public on Monday, May 21, at 10 am through MCSO, 612-875-5544, or online at:

Rush seats will be available for all performances the day of show at 6:00 pm at the Mill City Museum. Please be advised that tickets sell quickly.



Mill City Summer Opera’s mission is to tap into underutilized summer arts resources to produce high-quality, affordably-priced opera performance experiences in a casual outdoor venue for opera buffs as well as those being introduced to the art form. For more on Mill City Summer Opera, please visit: and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @mcsummeropera.



The Charles H. Bell Ruin Courtyard has been through two years of critical preservation work, including the repointing of the west and north walls, and the removal of some stone from the dramatic north wall and recapping it. They are pleased to welcome Mill City Summer Opera back to the courtyard this summer.