Opera Explained: Bizet’s Carmen (Audiobook CD)

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Description

Opera Explained: Bizet’s Carmen (Audiobook CD)

Composer: Georges Bizet
Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Naxos
CD Release Date: April 1, 2002
Run Time: 65 minutes

Carmen is among the most popular operas for all the obvious reasons: great chracters, a gripping story and fabulous music. But what sets it on a pinnacle is an amazing combination of three factors: a sizzling heroine (one of the most psychologically complex and compelling characters in all theatre), great atmosphere (Spain, hot sun, and the bull ring), and the prodigality of melodic invention – one great tune after another, at least a dozen of which are staples of Madison Avenue and the animated cartoon.

Opera Explained
This series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the pricipal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recording of the complete work, Thomson Smillie in informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.



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History

Carmen

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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