The New National Theatre, Tokyo has offered Opera Appreciation for High School Students since 1997. The concept behind the programme is the idea that the first opera that young people experience should be the real thing. The operas feature world-class singers from Japan and abroad, and are performed uncut with full orchestras, in the original languages with surtitles. In their production, stage art and costuming, these repertory productions are identical in every way to regular performances given during the season.
A cigarette factory girl, Carmen, admired by men of the town, takes an interest in Don José, who is indifferent to her, and seeks to win his attention by tossing him a rose. Although he loves Micaëla, he soon becomes captivated by Carmen and is persuaded to desert the Army and throw in his lot with smugglers. But Carmen becomes disillusioned with José and gives her heart to the toreador Escamillo. In front of the bullring, from which loud cheering can be heard, José, consumed by jealous rage, stabs Carmen in the heart.