The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Carmen (Libretto & Background)

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Item: 9781574674620


The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Carmen (Libretto & Background)

The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Carmen provides all the information you’ll need to appreciate Bizet’s opera, whether you’re at the Met, streaming it online, watching a Live in HD presentation, or listening on the radio.

A riveting story of fatal attraction between a beguiling, strong-willed woman and a naïve but passionate soldier who falls under her spell, Georges Bizet's Carmen pulses with seduction, obsession, and deadly betrayal. It was reviled at its Paris premiere, where its realism and perceived amorality proved shocking, but it has since become one of the most popular and highly regarded operas of all time. Arguably one of the greatest musical products of France's enduring fascination with Spain, Carmen features many numbers that are now almost universally familiar, including the seductive "Habanera" and the boastful but infectious "Toreador Song."

Features the complete libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, current and historic images from Met productions, an introductory “In Focus” feature, and the full Met program notes.

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press (September 1, 2014)
  • Dimensions: 6” W x 0.4” D x 9” H

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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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