Nothing says romance like a night at the opera, especially when the smoldering tale of “Carmen” is on stage. Houston Grand Opera returns to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for “Carmen” A Concert Performance May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for orchestra seating and free mezzanine and lawn seating courtesy of The Wortham Foundation. Tickets are not required for free seating. Gates open at 7 p.m.

This performance is what is considered a concert performance, one of the newest trends in the opera world.

“It’s all about the music! A concert performance of an opera is a complete, full-length opera presented with the soloists, orchestra, chorus and conductor on stage. There are no sets, costumes or props to distract the eyes and ear from the operatic score” said Shannon Wilson, marketing and education director of The Pavilion. “The focus is entirely on the performers and their dynamic interaction with their audience. Its truly all about the music.”

The opera tells the story of Carmen, a beautiful, impetuous Gypsy girl desired by all the men who is arrested after injuring another woman in a fight and is placed in the custody of a soldier, Don José. Bewitched by her charms, José allows her to escape and is arrested for negligence. Only later does Carmen learn that Don José went to prison for his role in her escape. She decides to wait for José’s release and rebuffs her other suitors. But Carmen and Don José prove a bad match. She soon tires of his jealousy, and when his discarded fiancée, Micaela, begs him to return home to his dying mother, Carmen urges him to leave. Carmen immediately takes up with the glamorous toreador Escamillo and arrives on his arm at the bullfight. José confronts her outside the ring, pleading desperately with her to come back to him, but she refuses. Realizing that he can never possess Carmen, José stabs her to death.

Come early for Pre-Concert activities in the North Plaza at 7 p.m. Children and parents can visit The Pavilion Partners Arts & Crafts Booth and Instrument Petting Zoo as well as activities by Texas Children’s Hospital, Woodforest National Bank, Renewal by Andersen, Century 21 Realty Partners and Audi of America, official automobile of The Pavilion. Guests also can register-to-win Tommy Bahama’s “Best Seats in the House” and participate in Fidelity’s Seat Exchange. At the opera get insight into the evening’s program with Pavilion Talk, a free pre-concert discussion led by noted music scholar and former college professor Ira J. Black from 7:15- 7:45 p.m. in the North Plaza.

Guests are welcome to have a picnic in their seat or on the hill. Keep in mind that beverages cannot be brought into The Pavilion. Sitting on the hill? Lawn chairs also are provided free for this event!

Orchestra tickets can be purchased at The Pavilion Box Office, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands. Tickets are not required for free seating in mezzanine and lawn. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and on event days through the start of the show. at The Pavilion Box Office, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands, Texas. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Fiesta, Walmart, select H-E-B locations and Media Magic, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at

Preferred parking is available in the on-site Town Center Garage, located along Six Pines Drive.  Parking is $5 per vehicle for this and most performing arts events. Tickets for on-site parking can be purchased in advance at all Ticketmaster locations and The Pavilion Box Office. Guests also may park in any of the five free parking lots on the southwest side of The Pavilion. The free, color-coded lots are connected to The Pavilion by corresponding pathways with signs leading across The Waterway.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's 2014 Performing Arts Season is presented by The Woodlands Development Company and sponsored by Audi of America, official automobile of The Pavilion, Huntsman Corporation, The Pavilion Partners, The Wortham Foundation, Texas Children’s Hospital. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion acknowledges the financial support of The Woodlands Township that is generated by the Event Admissions Tax for its performing arts and educational outreach programs.

If you would like more information about The Pavilion, please visit or look for The Pavilion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Blogger. Or download The Pavilion's iOS app or Android app.

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan