Bizet: Carmen (3-CD) – Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers

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Bizet: Carmen (3-CD) – Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers

Composer: Georges Bizet
Artists: Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers, Justino Diaz, Mirella Freni, Oliviera Miljakovic, Julia Hamari, Anton Diakov, Robert Kerns, Milen Paunov, John van Kesteren, Chor der Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Number of Discs: 3
Label: Orfeo
CD Release Date: October 12, 2018

“This music seems to me to be perfect,” declared Friedrich Nietzsche.

Here is a recording which palpably demonstrates how the master conductor, aided by a top-flight cast, brings the work to life on stage. This production opened the 1966 Salzburg Festival.

English text enclosed.

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World premiere: 1887.

Georges Bizet’s original Carmen, takes place in and around Seville, Spain and tells of the downfall of a soldier, Don José, seduced by the wiles of the fiery Carmen. José abandons his sweetheart and his military duties for Carmen, yet loses her love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.

On January 9, 1884, Carmen premiered at the Metropolitan Opera. Thereafter it was quickly incorporated into the Met's regular repertory staging Carmen well-over a thousand times.  The Met Opera’s 2023-2024 Season debuts a vital new production of Carmen, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries.

Among the best-known of all operatic arias are Carmen’s “Habanera” from Act 1, sung by the title character and the toreador’s song, “Votre toast” in Act 2, performed by the matador Escamillo.






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