Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet.
Don JoséEscamilloMicaelaoperaMicaëlaLa Tragedie de Carmenopera of the same nameBizet: Carmensame nameBizet's opera
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Georges Bizet

BizetGeorge BizetG. Bizet
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet.
Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

Prosper Mérimée

The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
He is best known for his novella Carmen, which became the basis of Bizet's opera Carmen.

Henri Meilhac

The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
Their most famous collaboration is the libretto for Georges Bizet's Carmen.

Carmen (novella)

Carmennovellanovella of the same title
The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
It has been adapted into a number of dramatic works, including the famous opera of the same name by Georges Bizet.

Opéra comique

opéra-comiqueopéras comiquesopéras-comiques
The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue.
Associated with the Paris theatre of the same name, opéra comique is not always comic or light in nature; Carmen, perhaps the most famous opéra comique, is a tragedy.


Théâtre de l'Opéra-ComiqueComédie-ItalienneOpéra Comique
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.
Mainstays of the repertory at the Opéra-Comique during its history have included the following works which have each been performed more than 1,000 times by the company: Cavalleria Rusticana, Le chalet, La dame blanche, Le domino noir, La fille du régiment, Lakmé, Manon, Mignon, Les noces de Jeannette, Le pré aux clercs, Tosca, La bohème, Werther and Carmen, the last having been performed more than 2,500 times.

Les pêcheurs de perles

The Pearl FishersLeilaZurga
Bizet's professional relationship with Léon Carvalho, manager of the independent Théâtre Lyrique company, enabled him to bring to the stage two full-scale operas, Les pêcheurs de perles (1863) and La jolie fille de Perth (1867), but neither enjoyed much public success.
They have identified clear foreshadowings of the composer's genius which would culminate, 10 years later, in Carmen.

Célestine Galli-Marié

Galli-MariéCélestine Marié
The role was then offered to Célestine Galli-Marié, who agreed to terms with du Locle after several months' negotiation.
Célestine Galli-Marié (15 March 1837 – 22 September 1905) was a French mezzo-soprano who is most famous for creating the title role in the opera Carmen.

Paul Lhérie

The leading tenor part of Don José was given to Paul Lhérie, a rising star of the Opéra-Comique who had recently appeared in works by Massenet and Delibes.
He was most famous for creating the role of Don José in Bizet's Carmen.


José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen's love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.
In English, a torero is sometimes referred to by the term toreador, which was popularized by Georges Bizet in his opera Carmen.

Habanera (aria)

HabaneraL'amour est un oiseau rebelleHabañera
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.
Habanera (music or dance of Havana, La Habana) is the popular name for "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" ("Love is a rebellious bird"), an aria from Georges Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen.


mezzomezzo sopranomezzosoprano
While mezzo-sopranos typically sing secondary roles in operas, notable exceptions include the title role in Bizet's Carmen, Angelina (Cinderella) in Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Rosina in Rossini's Barber of Seville (all of which are also sung by sopranos).

Jacques Bouhy

Jacques Bouhy, engaged to sing Escamillo, was a young Belgian-born baritone who had already appeared in demanding roles such as Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust and as Mozart's Figaro.
Jacques-Joseph-André Bouhy (18 June 1848 – 24 January 1929) was a Belgian baritone, most famous for being the first to sing the "Toreador Song" in the role of Escamillo in the opera Carmen.


opera singeroperasoperatic
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet.
In the second half of the 19th century, Jacques Offenbach created operetta with witty and cynical works such as Orphée aux enfers, as well as the opera Les Contes d'Hoffmann; Charles Gounod scored a massive success with Faust; and Georges Bizet composed Carmen, which, once audiences learned to accept its blend of Romanticism and realism, became the most popular of all opéra comiques.


SevillaSeville, SpainSevillian
Place: Seville, Spain, and surrounding hills
Among the most popular composers who fell in love with the city are Beethoven (Fidelio), Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni), Rossini (The Barber of Seville), Donizetti (La favorite), and Bizet (Carmen).

Phonograph record

The opera 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.
However, the previous year Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen.

Eugène Dufriche

On 3 March 1875 he sang Zuniga in the world premiere of Bizet’s Carmen at the Opéra-Comique.

Ludovic Halévy

HalévyL. Halévy
The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
During this period, they wrote the libretto to Carmen but it was a sideshow to their other work.

Ernest Guiraud

For this version, first staged on 23 October 1875, Bizet's friend Ernest Guiraud replaced the original dialogue with recitatives, to create a "grand opera" format.
He is best known for writing the traditional orchestral recitatives used for Bizet's opera Carmen and for Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann).


He sang Remendado in the premiere of Carmen and returned to sing this role at the Opéra-Comique revivals of 1883, 1891, and 1898.


lyric baritonebaritonesdramatic baritone
These included Nelusko in L'Africaine (Meyerbeer's last opera), Mephistopheles in La damnation de Faust (a role also sung by basses), the Priest of Dagon in Samson and Delilah, Escamillo in Carmen, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Lescaut in Manon, Athanael in Thaïs and Herod in Hérodiade.

Her Majesty's Theatre

King's TheatreHis Majesty's TheatreQueen's Theatre
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.
It also hosted the Ballet of her Majesty's Theatre in the mid-19th century, before returning to hosting the London premieres of such operas as Bizet's Carmen and Wagner's Ring Cycle.

Paul de Choudens

ChoudensÉditions ChoudensPaul
The vocal score that Bizet published in March 1875 shows significant changes from the version of the score that he sold to the publishers, Choudens, in January 1875; the conducting score used at the premiere differs from each of these documents.
In 1888, with his brother Antony, he took over the publishing house established by his father Antoine de Choudens in 1845 and made a fortune in publishing in particular, the music scores of Faust by Gounod and Carmen by Bizet.

Esther Chevalier

She made her debut at the Opéra-Comique on 6 October 1873 as Angèle in Le domino noir and went on to create many roles, such as Mercédès in Carmen, Manette in La chambre bleue, La duègne in La Fille de Tabarin, Javotte in Manon, Herminie in La soeur de Jocrisse, la balayeuse in Louise, and Prudence in Xavière, as well as Meg in the French premiere of Falstaff in 1894.


He completed the draft of the composition—1,200 pages of music—in the summer, which he spent at the artists' colony at Bougival, just outside Paris.
In Bougival, Georges Bizet composed the opera Carmen at his home at Rue Ivan Tourguenievf on the Seine and noted Russian novelist and playwright Ivan Turgenev built a datcha.