Opera Philadelphia

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Carmen: A Hip Hopera

Friday, Sept. 30, 8:00 p.m.
Philadelphia Film Center
Part of Opera on Film
Part of Festival O22

In 2001, Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) directed this MTV adaptation of Georges Bizet's Carmen, quoting from the classic opera’s music and melding it with a new hip-hop score performed by a cast of recording artists including Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, Lil' Bow Wow, Da Brat, Rah Digga, and Beyoncé Knowles in her acting debut as Carmen. Set in Philadelphia, with Mekhi Phifer also starring as Philly cop Derek Hill (an update of Don José), the film debuted to mixed reviews. Two decades later, it has a loyal fanbase thanks to its provocative exploration of hip hop on an operatic scale, called “fun and fascinating to watch because of its intelligent direction and heartfelt performances at its core” (The Spool). 

This film is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for violence, sensuality, and drug content.

MapPhiladelphia Film Center

Dates are in 2022.

Fri, Sep 30 8:00 p.m.

Approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes

Language: English

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