1962 Studio Cast Recording

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Recorded November 10, 1962, this studio cast album starred American opera singer Grace Bumbry in the title role. Featuring the New World Show Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Alwyn, the album was recorded in London with British performers long before the show made its U.K. premiere. George Webb, Ena Babbs and Thomas Baptiste round out the cast.

1954 Motion Picture

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One reason for the success of Otto Preminger’s film version of Carmen Jones was his uncompromising casting of the vocalists; most of the principals were dubbed by seasoned singers. In this soundtrack recording, under the musical direction of Herschel B. Gilbert. Pearl Bailey does her own singing as Frankie, opera star Marilyn Horne sings for Dorothy Dandridge in the title … Read More

1944 Original Broadway Cast

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Recorded January 17, 18 and 20, 1944, after a tremendous New York premiere, this Original Broadway Cast album features an ensemble of newcomers to the professional stage. Under the musical direction of Robert Shaw, with orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennet, Muriel Smith leads the cast in the title role.

2018 Off-Broadway

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Directed by John Doyle, choreographed by Bill T. Jones and starring Anika Noni Rose, this 2018 revival was critically acclaimed. Ben Brantley of the New York Times called the production “glorious” and “breathlessly seductive,” adding, “the entire cast is first rate.” Rose was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for her turn in the title role.

1991 West End Premiere

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In 1991, Hammerstein’s Carmen Jones was revived on the West End at The Old Vic. Directed by Simon Callow, the show ran for a full season and earned six Olivier Award nominations, winning Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Wilhelmenia Fernandez. The production later toured Europe and Japan.

1954 Motion Picture

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Starring Dorothy Dandridge and featuring Pearl Bailey and Harry Belafonte, the film adaptation of Carmen Jones premiered October 28, 1954. Variety declared the adaptation was executed “with taste and imagination in an opulent production,” referring to Dandridge’s “notable” performance as “a sultry Carmen whose performance maintains the right hedonistic tone throughout.” Dandridge was nominated for both a Golden Globe and … Read More

1943 Original Broadway Production

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Carmen Jones made its New York premiere at the Broadway Theatre on December 2, 1943. Staged by Hassard Short, directed by Charles Friedman and choreographed by Eugene Loring, the production starred Muriel Smith, making her Broadway debut, alternating with Muriel Rahn. The New York Herald Tribune hailed Carmen Jones: “Bravo! The theatre and music have had a memorable wedding…. The … Read More

Carmen Jones

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Following the immense success of Oklahoma!, Oscar Hammerstein II returned to a passion project – a visionary feat – resetting Bizet’s Carmen in a Southern wartime parachute factory, featuring an all-Black cast. With the admiration and assistance of Broadway’s most spectacular producer, Billy Rose, Carmen Jones made its landing at the Broadway Theatre. A little over a decade later, the … Read More

Stan’ Up an’ Fight!

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At Billy Pastor’s Café, the celebrated up-and-coming prize fighter Husky Miller makes a grand entrance, rousing the crowd and buying drinks for everyone. This inspiring number is Oscar Hammerstein’s American adaptation of one of Carmen‘s most famous arias, “The Toreador Song,” also known as “Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre” (“I toast you”).

Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum

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At Billy Pastor’s Café, Frankie leads the crowd in a spirited dance. This lively number, using the music from “Gypsy Song” in Bizet’s opera, is a rare moment of joy in the otherwise tragic Carmen Jones. Introduced by Jessica Russell in the original Broadway production, the song was sung by Pearl Bailey in the film adaptation.