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Press Release: Carmen La Cubana at Sadler's Wells this summer

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Carmen La Cubana
Sadler’s Wells
UK Premiere
Wednesday 1 - Saturday 18 August 
Tickets: £15 - £68
Performances: Tue - Sat at 7.30pm, Sat mat 2.30pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com


The legendary story of Carmen is given a Cuban twist in Carmen La Cubana, which receives its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells from Wednesday 1 - Saturday 18 August 2018.

Inspired by George Bizet’s opera Carmen and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical adaptation Carmen Jones, internationally renowned musical theatre director Christopher Renshaw and Grammy and Tony Award-winning arranger and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire present a new and contemporary vision of the classic story. 

Carmen La Cubana narrates a gripping love story set against the backdrop of 1950s Cuba, at the dawn of the revolution. An opulent tableau designed by Tom Piper shows Cuba as the action develops from the gates of a cigar factory in the Caribbean island’s rural south east to the bustling life of the bars and clubs in Santiago and Havana.

The show features live music from a talented 12-strong band playing a combination of classical and Latin American instruments, with intoxicating Afro-Cuban rhythms that lend a new flair to the familiar tunes of Bizet. The energetic, pulsating choreography by Roclan Gonzalez Chavez fuses rumba, cha-cha-cha and mambo with a contemporary movement vocabulary performed by a stunning cast of 26, as Carmen’s fight for independence and freedom is mirrored in the spirit of the Cuban revolution. The production was described as ‘truly electrifying’ (Le Figaro), and ‘a breathtaking production’ (Le Parisien) when it received its world premiere at the The Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2016.

Christopher Renshaw’s directing credits include opera productions at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House, as well as musicals including The King and I – for which he won a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award – and We Will Rock You.

Alex Lacamoire has won Tony Awards and Grammy Awards for his work on the phenomenally successful Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton. His other recent musical theatre credits include Bring it On: The Musical, 9 to 5 and the revival of Annie.

Choreographer Roclan Gonzalez Chavez graduated in Contemporary and Folk Dance from the Escuela Nacional deArte in Havana in 1996 and was the only student in his year to receive a grant for further studies in choreography. He has worked with some of the most significant music and dance groups in Cuba, including Ballet Revolucion, and globally acclaimed stage, TV and video productions including music videos for artists such as Enrique Iglesias.

Tom Piper’s work as a stage designer includes Zorro in the West End and Dealer’s Choice at the Menier Chocolate Factory. In collaboration with Paul Cummins, in 2014 he created the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London.

Script writer and lyricist Norge Espinosa Mendoza is a theatre critic, essayist, poet and dramatist in Cuba. American productions of two of his works – Sueno and La Gloria – were recently presented in New York. Script writer Stephen Clark’s credits include reworked lyrics for the West End production of Martin Guerre, which subsequently won the 1997 Olivier Award for Best Musical and toured the UK and the USA.

Director Christopher Renshaw said: The experience of living in Havana for three months developing this musical with Cuban actors, singers and musician was a wonderful life changing experience. Havana is soaked in the influence of Santería, the music of which was seminal in reimaging the story of Carmen. Passionate love, salsa and revolution. It is a gift to any director, and I look forward to sharing it with audiences in London this summer."





About Sadler’s Wells

Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.

It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.

Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.


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