The UK premiere of Carlos Acosta’s ‘Cuban’ version of Bizet’s classic opera-cum-ballet Carmen is being staged at Sadler’s Wells for a week from July 2.

The universal and timeless themes are laid bare in a sparse setting in Acosta’s fresh adaptation of the traditional 19th century story of Don José falling in love with Carmen and sacrificing everything to be with her.

But Carmen becomes infatuated with a toreador and loses interest. Don José turns to violent jealousy.

Acosta plays The Bull, a role he created to represent fate and destiny, which he has been keen to perform since his retirement from the Royal Ballet in 2015.

Bizet’s score is one of the most powerful operas ever written. Its melodies have secured its hold on the popular imagination such as Escamillo’s Toreador Song, Carmen’s Habanera, Don José’s Flower Song and orchestra and chorus pieces among the most widely-known in classical music.  

Acosta Danza created his company in 2015 to harness the young creative dance talent emerging from Cuba. His ethos combines Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences with classical and contemporary genres, creating a repertoire that pushes conventional boundaries.

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen, performs from 7.30pm July 2-6 (Tuesday to Saturday), tickets from £15, duration 1 hour 40 minutes including interval.