26 Facts About Carmen


Carmen has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon; the "Habanera" from act 1 and the "Toreador Song" from act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias.

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Carmen initially gained its reputation through a series of productions outside France, and was not revived in Paris until 1883.

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Music of Carmen has since been widely acclaimed for brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet musically represented the emotions and suffering of his characters.

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Carmen enters and sings her provocative habanera on the untameable nature of love .

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Carmen reads that his mother wants him to return home and marry Micaela, who retreats in shy embarrassment on learning this.

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Carmen is delighted to learn of Jose's release from two months' detention.

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Frasquita and Mercedes amuse themselves by reading their fortunes from the cards; Carmen joins them and finds that the cards are foretelling her death, and Jose's.

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Carmen has a husband called Garcia, whom Jose kills during a quarrel.

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Carmen was assured by Halevy that the story would be toned down, that Carmen's character would be softened, and offset by Micaela, described by Halevy as "a very innocent, very chaste young girl".

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Carmen provided a new opening line for the "Seguidilla" in act 1.

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Carmen herself, says Dean, is a new type of operatic heroine representing a new kind of love, not the innocent kind associated with the "spotless soprano" school, but something altogether more vital and dangerous.

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Carmen's had sung leading roles in many of Offenbach's operas, but she was unacceptable to Bizet and was turned down by du Locle as unsuitable.

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Carmen's refused the part when she learned that she would be required to die on stage.

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Carmen was often performed to half-empty houses, even when the management gave away large numbers of tickets.

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On 17 June 1878 Carmen was produced in London, at Her Majesty's Theatre, where Minnie Hauk began her long association with the part of Carmen.

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Carmen was acclaimed in numerous French provincial cities including Marseille, Lyon and, in 1881, Dieppe, where Galli-Marie returned to the role.

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On 9 January 1884, Carmen was given its first New York Metropolitan Opera performance, to a mixed critical reception.

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Thereafter Carmen was quickly incorporated into the Met's regular repertory.

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Popularity of Carmen continued through succeeding generations of American opera-goers; by the beginning of 2011 the Met alone had performed it almost a thousand times.

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At the Opera-Comique, after its 1883 revival, Carmen was always presented in the dialogue version with minimal musical embellishments.

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Carmen's habanera is based on an idiomatic song, "El Arreglito", by the Spanish composer Sebastian Yradier .

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Carmen used a genuine folksong as the source of Carmen's defiant "Coupe-moi, brule-moi" while other parts of the score, notably the "Seguidilla", utilise the rhythms and instrumentation associated with flamenco music.

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Carmen has been the subject of many recordings, beginning with early wax cylinder recordings of excerpts in the 1890s, a nearly complete performance in German from 1908 with Emmy Destinn in the title role, and a complete 1911 Opera-Comique recording in French.

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Character "Carmen" has been a regular subject of film treatment since the earliest days of cinema.

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Robert Townsend's 2001 film, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, starring Beyonce Knowles, is a more recent attempt to create an African-American version.

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Carmen was interpreted in modern ballet by the South African dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo in 2010.

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