You know the story, you adore the music. The seductive and tempestuous gypsy, Carmen, captures the heart of a young soldier, Don José. He sacrifices everything to be with her. Now a fugitive on the run, his life is in ruins. Unfortunately, she is drawn to the dashing matador, Escamillo, and casts Don José aside, which seals her fate. In his passionate confrontation with Carmen outside the bullring, Don José's pleas for her to take him back are met with cold rejection...and the tragic murder that concludes the opera devastates audiences as much today as it did in 1875 when Carmen first premiered. Bizet's score features one great melody after another, from the overture to the famous "Habanera" to the stirring "Toreador's Song." The passion of Flamenco, together with intoxicating dances and riveting drama set in the colorful backdrop of Seville, makes Carmen arguably the most famous opera of all time. Featured in the title role is American mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen, who last performed this role in 2008 for Los Angeles Opera, with Plácido Domingo conducting. Tenor Adam Diegel, Don José, was a National Finalist in the 2003 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions and recently made his European debut as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at the National Theater of Hungary. Miami's own Elaine Alvarez, Micaëla, made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Mimì in the season -opening production of Puccini's La bohème, receiving the highest accolades. Mark Walters, Escamillo, returns to FGO after making his debut here last season as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. Returning to conduct is FGO former music director Willie Anthony Waters. The former artistic director of Connecticut Opera, Maestro Waters conducts internationally and is a frequent guest on Metropolitan Opera broadcast intermission features. SCHEDULE April 24 - May 8 Miami performances are at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. May 13 & 15 Fort Lauderdale performances are at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.