There is no better place to stage Bizet’s Carmenin Perth than in His Majesty’s Theatre. The theatre itself is almost completely red; red walls, red carpet, red seats. In addition to the shock of red, the theatre was completely full, and the heat of the numerous people packed in together complemented the colour scheme quite appropriately. It really felt like a red hot, sweaty day in Carmen’s Seville.

Carmen, West Australian Opera, review Milijana Nikolic and Paul O’Neill, left. All photos © James Rogers

Dan Potra’s sets for Carmen’s Seville struck the perfect balance of effective and functional, with rocky, white walls and industrial-like ladders easily manoeuvrable along the expanse of floor that reflected whatever light was shone onto it. After the curtain rose, the floor was a striking red; at the beginning of the third act, it was a ghostly blue. Midway through the fourth act, the walls were positioned to trap Don José and Carmen in close proximity (literally, the walls were closing in) and the crisp white of the wall brilliantly contrasted with the streak of blood left behind by Carmen’s dead body. Such thoughtful set design was mirrored...