METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE
CONDUCTOR: Omer Meir Wellber (OCT 30, NOV 3,6,10,15) Louis Langrée (JAN 9,12,17,21,26,29, FEB 2,5,8)
MICAËLA: Guanqun Yu (OCT 30, NOV 3,6,10,15) / Aleksandra Kurzak (JAN 9,12,21,26,29, FEB 2,5,8) / Susanna Phillips (JAN 17)
CARMEN: Clémentine Margaine
DON JOSÉ: Yonghoon Lee (OCT 30, NOV 3,6,10,15) / Roberto Alagna (JAN 9,12,17,21,26,29, FEB 2,5,8)
ESCAMILLO: Kyle Ketelsen (OCT 30, NOV 3,6,10,15)
ABOUT THE OPERA
Composer: Georges Bizet – Librettists: Henri Meilhac and Louis Halévy – First performance: Paris, Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique, 3 March 1875
Based on Prosper Merimée’s novella, Carmen is one of those operas that, like Il barbiere di Siviglia and La traviata, premiered unsuccessfully but shortly after became the composer’s most popular work. Differently from Rossini and Verdi, however, Bizet died few months after the premiere and did not live long enough to see his opera appreciated and.
The story is a tragic one. Carmen is an attractive but resolute woman who pays with her life her desire for independence, thwarted by her former lover Don Josè. Hers is a story of strong feelings that reflects on how difficult human relationships are and on the dramatic consequences of selfish actions. The plot shocked the audience at the premiere and it was the main reason of its early failure, but Carmen is the opera where Bizet’s style has the most precise features and where even the setting, emphasized by Spanish melodies, contributes to specify the action.
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