Don JoséEscamilloMicaelaoperaMicaëlaLa Tragedie de Carmenopera of the same nameBizet's operaCarmen (Ouverture)Carmen Suite
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet.wikipedia
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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.

Ludovic Halévy

HalévyLudovic HalevyL. Halévy
The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
Ludovic Halévy (1 January 1834 – 7 May 1908) was a French author and playwright, best known for his collaborations with Henri Meilhac on Georges Bizet's Carmen and on the works of Jacques Offenbach.

Henri Meilhac

The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
Henri Meilhac (23 February 1830 – 6 July 1897) was a French dramatist and opera librettist, best known for his collaborations with Ludovic Halévy on Georges Bizet's Carmen and on the works of Jacques Offenbach, as well as Jules Massenet's Manon.

Prosper Mérimée

MériméeProsper MerimeeMerimee
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.

Carmen (novella)

Carmennovella1846 novella
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 ComiqueThéâtre national de l'Opéra-ComiqueComédie-Italienne
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.

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.

Les pêcheurs de perles

The Pearl FishersThe PearlfishersLes pecheurs de perles
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.


José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen's love to the glamorous torero 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.

Célestine Galli-Marié

Galli-MariéCélestine MariéCelestine
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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


Seville, SpainSevillaSevilla, Spain
Among the 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).


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 baritonebaritonesbaryton-martin
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.

Femme fatale

vampfemmes fatalesvamps
The musicologist Hugh Macdonald observes that "French opera never produced another femme as fatale as Carmen", though she may have influenced some of Massenet's heroines.
She also is seen as a prominent figure in late nineteenth and twentieth century opera, appearing in Richard Wagner's Parsifal (Kundry), George Bizet's "Carmen", Camille Saint-Saëns' "Samson et Delilah" and Alban Berg's "Lulu" (based on the plays "Erdgeist" and "Die Büchse der Pandora" by Frank Wedekind).

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.

Verismo (music)

verismoverismo operaveristic
Later commentators have asserted that Carmen forms the bridge between the tradition of opéra comique and the realism or verismo that characterised late 19th-century Italian opera.
Some authors have attempted to trace the origins of verismo opera to works that preceded Cavalleria rusticana, such as Georges Bizet's Carmen, or Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata.

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).