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By Margarita del Mazo, with translation by Jon Brokenbrow
Illustrated by Concha Pasamar
Awarded at the 2022 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.
Carmen, the Mérimée classic that Bizet brought to the opera is presented here in a new version, inspired by Johan Inger’s choreography for the Spanish National Dance Company. Discover the story of Carmen through the pure and crystal-clear eyes of a child:
I am nine years old. I love playing with my ball and my friend who is a corporal in the Alcalá Dragoon Regiment. My neighbor Carmen is the most beautiful woman I know. Everyone loves her, but she prefers to fly.
My neighbor Carmen works in the cigar factory outside my hometown. She is such a dazzling woman. When the siren sounds signal the end of the working day, the square gathers a huge crowd of admirers from all over. However, Carmen is a free spirit, and she always repeats the same motto: “Love is a rebellious bird that none can tame, and it is quite in vain that one calls it. If it suits it to refuse, nothing to be done, threat or plea.”
An endearing story that will bring the little ones closer to the world of opera and dance and will invite readers to reflect on the true nature of love.
- Publisher: Cuento de Luz; 1st edition (October 4, 2022)
- Hardcover: 36 pages
- Grade level: 2 - 5
- Dimensions: 8.27” W x 10.24” H
Georges Bizet’s Carmen, which takes place in and around Seville, Spain tells of the downfall of a soldier, Don José, seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy, 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.
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.
On January 9, 1884, Carmen was given its first Metropolitan Opera performance. Thereafter it was quickly incorporated into the Met's regular repertory. By the beginning of its 2018/2019 season the Met had performed Carmen well-over a thousand times.
Though the March 3rd,1875 world premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris was a scandal, Carmen, soon became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world. Three months after its 33rd performance, Bizet died suddenly at the age of 37 never knowing how immensely popular Carmen would become.
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