Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
Classical Music Home > Opera Explained: BIZET - Carmen (Smillie)

Opera Explained: BIZET - Carmen (Smillie)


Back Cover Image 
About this Recording

Opera Explained: BIZET - Carmen (Smillie)

Opera Explained
An Introduction to... BIZET: Carmen

Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
1 CD
8-page booklet
Naxos 8.558010
ISBN: 1-84379-036-X

Carmen is among the most popular operas for all the obvious reasons: great characters, a gripping story and fabulous music. But what sets it on a pinnacle is an amazing combination of three factors: a sizzling gipsy heroine (one of the most psychologically complex and compelling characters in all theatre), great atmosphere (Spain, hot sun, the bull-ring) and the prodigality of melodic invention - one great tune after another, at least a dozen of which are the staples of Madison Avenue and the animated cartoon.

Like a surprising number of opera-house staples, Carmen was not a success at its first performance. In fact, it is likely that its failure contributed to the early death of the composer. But as Thomson Smillie shows in his accessible introduction, the emotionally driven nature of its heroine and her admirers, Don José and Escamillo, makes Carmen unforgettable. As always in the Opera Explained series, the music itself plays an integral role.

Bizet, Georges

  An Introduction to... BIZET Carmen
1.   Carmen - the master work 00:02:26
2.   The duet from The Pearl Fishers 00:01:59
3.   Bizet's career showed early promise 00:02:28
4.   The Prelude to Carmen 00:01:24
5.   The 'fate' or 'destiny' theme 00:03:26
6.   The voices of the four main protagonists - Micaëla 00:00:17
7.   Carmen 00:00:18
8.   Don José 00:00:19
9.   Escamillo 00:00:52
10.   The sun - baked square in Seville 00:04:02
11.   Carmen: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle - the Habanera 00:03:25
12.   Duet - Micaëla and Carmen 00:05:42
13.   Près des ramparts de Seville 00:02:44
14.   Act II Lillas Pastia's tavern 00:04:40
15.   Escamillo: Votre toast 00:01:09
16.   Escamillo: Toreador's Song 00:02:18
17.   The smugglers' quintet 00:02:50
18.   Carmen sings for Don José 00:03:05
19.   Don José: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée 00:02:07
20.   Act III 00:03:27
21.   Mercédès and Frasquita play cards 00:03:00
22.   Micaëla: Ja dis que rien ne m'épouvante 00:02:36
23.   Act IV 00:01:44
24.   March of the Toreadors 00:01:18
25.   Escamillo: Si tu m'aimes, Carmen 00:02:27
26.   The fate motif 00:05:36

Total Playing Time: 01:05:39

Smillie, Thomson

Bizet, Georges

Timson, David

Label: Naxos Educational

Series: Opera Explained

Genre: Music Education

Period: Romantic

Catalogue No: 8.558010

Barcode: 0636943801024

Physical Release: 03/2002

For U.S. and Canada:
Buy from H & B Direct
For Germany:
Buy from
For Germany and Europe:
Buy from
For Worldwide:
Buy from Presto Classical
For U.S. and Canada:
Buy from
For U.S. only:
Buy from
For U.S. only:
Naxos Direct
For U.K. Only:
Buy from
For U.S.:
Barnes & Nobles
For Germany:
Buy from


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group