If you've never been an opera goer, NZ Opera's Carmen may be the perfect occasion to become one. Even if you're unfamiliar with the tragic story, you probably know the ridiculously catchy and incredibly well-known 'Toreador Song' from the second act.
Georges Bizet's saucy and sensual four-act opera was so scandalous in its time that audiences were utterly outraged by what they saw. The tale of a young soldier deserting his military duties and his missus to run off with a hot-headed gypsy woman who is then wooed by another bloke, all culminating in (spoiler alert for a 140-year-old story) murder was pretty controversial and made a huge splash in the 1870s, and all the raucous immorality, violence and sex it portrays has aged well.
Carmen is fearless, bold and charming — both the character and the opera itself — and the ideal introduction to opera for the uninitiated.