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The professional company of St. Paul Ballet’s will complete the 2017/18 season in 1920s New York City. Carmen in the 1920s is an original ballet by Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot with music by Composer Richard Erickson.

The St. Paul Ballet (SPB) brings audiences at The O’Shaughnessy back to the F. Scott Fitzgerald era with a fresh adaptation on the Bizet opera, Carmen.  St. Paul Ballet fully embraces Fitzgerald’s description of the era: “the parties were bigger.  The pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser, and the liquor was cheaper” (The Great Gatsby). The birthplace of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Twin Cities was known for successful bootlegging, supporting women’s rights, and speakeasy hot spots. St. Paul Ballet fuses a multitude of local Minnesota artists together to create and revisit a celebrated time period.

Rip Roarin’ Carmen in the 1920s from St. Paul Ballet on Vimeo.

< Download a copy of the program

Carmen 1920s Curriculum Guide

< Carmen Storyboard









The project began two years ago with inspiration from the original story of the opera. Zoé Emilie Henrot (Artistic Director) and Richard Erickson (Company Piano Accompanist and Company) worked to create a story and a score that will transport audiences into the 1920s jazz era. Henrot’s choreography not only features iconic dances such as the charleston and the shag, but also incorporates other artists throughout the metro such as Aaron Preusse, fight choreographer of Fake Fighting Company and professional swing dancers from Uptown Swing. In addition, this performance will showcase live a five-person jazz band on stage with conductor Yuri Ivan of the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, new sets painted by Macalester graduate Annie Henley, and era costumes by MaryBeth Gagner, costumer at Hamline University. These artists bring together and create a unique telling of Carmen completely enveloped in the booming 1920s culture and themes.

Carmen in the 1920s remembers this bebop flare and presents a full evening of live music, classical and swing dancing, and exhilarating story-telling.  Audiences will be left in complete amazement of the many art forms displayed by local Twin Cities artists.


Follow the creation of Carmen on Instagram
Dancers and jazz musicians are rehearsing as the new production heats up for the spring premiere at The O’Shaughnessy.




Performances: Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 2:00pm
Want to bring a group? The O’Shaughnessy offers discounts for groups of 10 or more through their box office (651.690.6759).

Community School Show, Friday, May 11 at 10:30am.
Open to public, charter, and private schools, homeschool groups, assisted living homes and other community groups at reduced prices!

Contact Outreach Team Lead Michelle Ludwig for details


Special thanks to the McKnight Foundation for making this performance possible.