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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 14:20 GMT
Opera Carmen returns to Seville
The opera is being staged throughout the city
An extravagant $15m (8.6m) production of Bizet's opera Carmen is to be staged in the streets of the heroine's Spanish home town in Seville.

Thousands of spectators will be invited to follow the tale of doomed love as it is played out around city landmarks.

Spanish film-maker Carlos Saura will direct only 10 performances as part of the city's international music festival starting in September.

Staged by producer Michael Ecker, it will feature Denyce Graves as Carmen.

Ecker's company Opera On Original Site stages operas in the places where their plots unfold.

He previously persuaded China's communist government to allow a production of Turandot in Beijing's Forbidden City.

The Seville production will climax in the city's Maestranza bullring, where Carmen's soldier lover murders her in a fit of jealousy.

About 4,000 spectators will be carried from act to act in horse-drawn carriages, or stroll along the city's cobbled streets to follow the action.

Lorin Maazel, the show's conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, said: "The public will actually be drawn into the event as if they were actors, protagonists, singers themselves."

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