This post is brought to you in partnership with Opera Carolina. All opinions are our own. 

2019 is your year to shake those excuses, tackle your bucket list and try something new. If you’ve never experienced the opera, you are in for a treat as Opera Carolina’s Carmen takes to the Belk Theatre stage January 19, 20 and 24.

Carmen is the story of an independent woman who loves to smoke, drink, flirt and always seems to find a way to get what she wants. This gypsy soul enjoys the attention of men — even if it leads to her ultimate demise. Sounds right up our alley.

Ready to go? Here’s what you need to know.

Tickets and parking are easy

Step one: Get out the planner and figure which performance is going to blow out of the water your date night or friend get-together. Purchase single tickets through CarolinaTix online or call 704-372-1000. Or if you are already Uptown, save on fees and buy in person at the Belk Theater Box Office.

Now to get there. Blumenthal Performing Arts offers a special $5 parking rate with the purchase a pre-paid parking pass. You can purchase a pre-paid pass when you buy your tickets or in the theater lobby at the performance. Please note the rate is applicable only when parked in specific garage locations after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Or avoid the parking question all together and take the light rail to the CTC Transportation Center and enjoy a real night out on the town.

Know, then go

Carmen premiered in 1875 and caused quite a stir with its daring plot and equally seductive heroine. Trust us, you already know some of the tunes. From Sesame Street to Trainspotting to Glee and Beyoncé’s acting debut in A Hip Hopera— you’ve most likely heard several of the well-known songs.

While you are settling in and tapping your toes, thinking, “yeah, I know this one,” the story unfolds in English right before your very eyes, so you can follow along with ease. We promise you’ll know exactly what is going on! (Who you decide to root for is completely up to you.)

Opera goes perfect with beer

Did you know Opera and beer go together like marshmallows and graham crackers? It’s true. Carmen is such an amazing woman that Bold Missy Brewery created a spicy cinnamon beer called “Carmen Get It.” A woman with enough personality and verve to inspire a beer? This is your kind of opera. Plus you can take your tasty beverage with an attitude into the performance. Win, win.

Speaking of refreshments, Carmen is set in two acts with an intermission in between. Perfect time to enjoy the beautiful lobby, hobnob with other opera enthusiasts, grab a snack or toast friends with a cocktail.

What to wear

A night at the opera is a chance to dress up or down, however you are most comfortable. Opening night comes complete with a red carpet, so feel free to flash your award-winning getup. Sunday and afternoon performances tend to be more casual. Whatever you choose will be the perfect outfit for a fantastic performance.

Let the riveting Carmen pull you out of your usual entertainment rut and discover the joys of the opera. See you there!

Want to know more about Opera Carolina? Click here for more information.

Article written by  Courtney McLaughlin

Read the full article on Charlotte Five.