French composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen is more than the greatest work of his career, it’s in the conversation as one of the defining works of the entire artform. Carmen is as accessible to newcomers as it is rewarding to aficionados; its opéra comique style hews fairly close to the structure of a modern musical, while the richly intertwined motifs of Bizet’s lush, thrilling score invite endless relistening. Blood runs hot—until it just plain gushes—in this love triangle between the lovestruck Don Jose (Adam Diegel), the seductive outlaw Carmen (Audrey Babcock), and a braggadocious bullfighter (Luis Orozco), set in 19th-century Spain. See it for the first time, or see it as never before under the stars in the beautiful broken-topped outdoor setting of the Mill City Ruins, in this annual offering of the Mill City Summer Opera. And speaking of newcomers, the company—founded in 2012 by bassoonist and teacher Karen Brooks, and cast with nationally acclaimed talent—will offer a shortened, family-friendly 10:30 a.m. matinee, free for kids and $5 for adults, on Wednesday, July 18. Find tickets and more info at millcitysummeropera.org.