While often admired for its evocative moods, efficient orchestration and profuse melodies, Bizet's music is essentially traditional in form, adhering to the convention of self-contained set pieces and bravura display vehicles for all four of the lead singers. Of the featured singers, Mérentié and Vallandri were current stars of the Opéra-Comique, while Affre and Albers specialized in French repertoire. Overcoming her jealousy of Carmen is not easy. Bizet's lyricists Meilhac and Halévy Yet, to temper the story to meet audience expectations, they simplified the structure into a linear narrative progression, converted Don José from an unsavory bandit to a naïf, boosted Carmen's sensual drive, eliminated her evil husband altogether, promoted the picador Lucas to a bullfighter rival Escamillo, and added a wholly new character — Michaëla, Don José's loyal virginal hometown sweetheart — as a foil to Carmen's coarse savvy and flighty wanderlust. Coldstream Guards military band on a brilliant and vivid Gramophon Concert 78.
Don Jose, now at the smuggler's hideout in the mountains, begins to reminisce about his former home and his mother and starts missing them dearly. Both dialogue and recitatives are omitted. The mood changes as José begins to sing, and the music, agitated while the lovers quarrelled, temporarily settles. It's a sad but oft-repeated tale in classical music — so many of those now hailed as visionary geniuses died thinking themselves a failure or at best only a modest success. Opera, too, presented limited opportunities. Carmen Opera Resources Synopsis In Seville a corporal, Don José, is ordered to escort the gypsy Carmen to prison after she attacks another girl. Hence the exuberance of life and of movement which no attentive listener ever misses as one of the great features of the opera.
Carmen, who has decided she no longer loves him, takes notice and starts taunting him to leave, but he does not. Bizet was devastated and died of a heart attack three months later aged just 37. It is markedly different from the rest of the music associated with the pair -- a smooth-flowing melody, with an almost sad finish. Now an outlaw, he has no choice but to desert the army and join Carmen and her friends. Of the remaining Acts not so much need by said.
While perhaps overshadowed by Thill, Visconti has a sweet but rich voice that's modest but winning, and Nespoulpous and Guénot portray their roles convincingly. This was Reiner's only studio opera recording, and it's wonderful, reflecting his hallmark obsession with detail, as the orchestra vividly characterizes each phrase with expression and gives plenty of space to the singers, especially in their recitatives. She sees José on guard on a rock near by. Among Bizet's prior operas, one seemed especially suited to the expectations of the Opéra-Comique management and audience. Here, he says, in effect, is the language of the daughter of Bohemia, full of indifference; who lets go her heart, or rather her senses, at the will of her fancy and her caprice.
Carmen now goes off with the girls, who laughingly repeat the refrain of the Habanera. A while later, once the crowd has dispersed, the smugglers Dancairo and Remendado ask for help from Carmen and her two friends. The song is one of the haunting numbers of the opera: the embodiment of coquetry and abandonment; simple in construction, often heard, always welcome. Galli-Marié, who did not care for what Bizet had written originally. Then Micaela appears with the message from José's mother, and for the first time the whole atmosphere, the whole character of the music is changed.
Don José's musical styles reflect different levels in his descent from dutiful soldier to the underworld of obsession. Don José is jailed for letting Carmen escape. Picture: Anna Goryachova as Carmen, Kostas Smoriginas. But while not how its creators had conceived their work, it was the grand opera version that was published and is the form in which we have come to know Carmen. Each person lives, acts, moves; preserving his distinct physiognomy, his very clear and very decided personality, without any falling away; without the truth of the type being, for a single instant, sacrificed to the exigencies of the whole, of a musically appropriate phrase, or even a repeat. Although Bizet had never set foot in Spain, he apparently became intrigued by a book, Echos d'Espagne, which he borrowed from the Conservatoire library, and wanted to adapt the Mérimée tale for an opera libretto. De Mille production featured Geraldine Farrar, an opera star known for her portrayal of Carmen, but in which her all-important voice couldn't even be heard! Groups of soldiers already in the square begin flirting with the women, including Carmen.
The chorus, when audible, often degenerates into a mess of confused unenthused mumbling. So Don José, of course, barely notices her. Paint me love, hate, fanaticism, crime. The men demand Carmen, who teasingly puts them off. She dies simultaneously with Escamillo's bullfighting victory. His father was a singing teacher, and his mother, a gifted pianist. Carmen's entrance crystallizes her character with startling efficiency — in response to the entreaties of an entire chorus of horny young men she sings: Quand je vous aimerai? Through the square, everyone passes, Everyone comes, everyone goes.
French musical life of his era held little future for native orchestral composers. On the first, everything works beautifully and wondrously, with just enough spirit to sustain interest but without any element dominating the rest, enabling us to fully absorb the creators' masterful work without any distraction. Bizet's biographer emphasises this detail. Above all, she had a startlingly quick and carefully controlled vibrato, which seems to suggest complementary effects of quivering passion and stylized artifice as if to temper her direct impact with an assurance that this is really just a performance. Contains spoilers Background Award-winning director Barrie Kosky provides a refreshing perspective on this well-known opera. Thus, Michaëla, who at great risk twice brings Don José his mother's messages, seems little more than a mindless messenger, since we no longer know why — the original dialog, though, tells us that she was orphaned and taken in by his mother, to whom she owes her own life.