Don José is a guard who begins an affair with the tempestuous Carmen. He is imprisoned and loses his job, then flees with her to the mountains. When the relationship starts to break down José refuses to acknowledge it and will not leave, even when he gets news that his mother is dying. Carmen, meanwhile, has taken up with the bullfighter Escamillo. Bizet's most famous opera is brought to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera by Sir Peter Hall, with Maria Ewing and Barry McCauley heading an international cast.