Cincinnati Opera kicks off its season with Carmen, a rep mainstay about a gypsy woman who lives by her own rules. Chances are you’ll recognize Bizet’s classic melodies that vividly evoke Spanish dances and fiestas. Stacey Rishoi is the fiery Carmen; fine lyric tenor William Burden is her hapless lover Don José; and Daniel Okulitch is the swaggering matador Escamillo, who gets the opera’s most famous aria. Luminous soprano Laquita Michell sings Micaela, José’s hometown girl. The Cincinnati Opera’s production features a new set and staging by Canadian director Alain Gauthier plus cheering crowds for the last act’s bullfight.