Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen.
About Carmen in brief
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. After the composer’s death, the score was subject to significant amendment, including the introduction of recitative in place of the original dialogue. The music of Carmen has since been widely acclaimed for brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration. It has been recorded many times since the first acoustical recording in 1908, and the story has been the subject of many screen and stage adaptations. It may have been influenced in part by Alexander Pushkin’s 1824 poem ‘The Gypsies of Gypsys’ The story was originally published in 1830, possibly inspired by the writer’s lengthy travels in Spain, and had been published in the journal Revue des Revuees de Mondes. The score was written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue, and has since become one of the most popular operas in the classical canon. It was not revived in Paris until 1883, and thereafter, it rapidly acquired popularity at home and abroad.
Carmen is considered to be the bridge between the tradition of opÉra Comique and the realism or verismo that characterised late 19th-century Italian opera. The composer died suddenly after the 33rd performance of the opera, unaware that the work would achieve international acclaim within the following ten years. He had been a Prix de Rome laureate, but struggled to get his stage works performed in the Paris of the 1860s. The work’s subject matter was a matter of discussion between the composer and the theatre’s management; Adol de Leuven, on behalf of the theatre, made several suggestions that were politely rejected. Bizets’ one-act opera Djamileh failed and was withdrawn after 11 performances, but it led to a further commission from the theatre for a full-length opera, this time for which Henri Meillhac would provide the libretti. The first performance of this opera was in May 1872, and it was a success. The second performance was in March 1874, and after the third performance, the opera was revived in April 1875. The third and fourth performances were held in July 1874 and August 1874. The fourth and fifth performances were in September 1876, and they were in London and September 1878. The final performance in Paris was in October 1878, and this was the first time the opera had been performed outside France.
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This page is based on the article Carmen published in Wikipedia (as of Nov. 04, 2020) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.