Opera ‘Carmen’

Only a few more weeks to go. I feel quite excited to be playing with the Bristol Opera this season in one of the most well-known opéra-comique of all time: ‘Carmen’, by Georges Bizet.

By definition the genre of opéra-comique includes musical numbers separated by spoken dialogue. The opera ‘Carmen’, written in 1875,  is based in Seville, Spain in the period around 1820. Despite it being a French opera I have always found strong Spanish musical roots in it, which may be the reason why I feel that close to it.

Did you know…?

  • The famous Carmen’s ‘Habanera’ was based on a Spanish folksong called ‘The Arreglito’ by the Spanish composer Sebastián Yradier. Bizet had never visited Spain at the time, so he had to familiarise with Spanish music by listening to some of its composers.
  • Another section of this opera, the ‘seguidilla’, is another Spanish type of folksong and dance form in quick triple time. It was originated in La Mancha (seguidilla manchega) and Andalucía (seguidilla andaluza). As you will be able to hear, these seguidillas differ a bit from each other depending on the region. ‘Carmen’s seguidilla is more related to the seguidilla andaluza.

As one can imagine the first performances of this opera received lots of criticism – a scandal for the audience of that time. It only acquired popularity because of successful performances that were taking place abroad. Consequently it had a revival in Paris in 1883.

Please come along and enjoy our performance! [ For more information about dates and times please check http://www.bristolopera.co.uk ].


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