|CARMEN - November 2001
In Bizet's opera CARMEN the Spanish gypsy lives only for sensuality. After she has loved many, she is attracted by the sergeant Don José, encompasses him with her wiles, and leads him to mutiny and desertion, so that finally nothing remains for him but to join a band of smugglers of which Carmen is a member.
His fate is endurable as long as he retains the love of Carmen, but when she turns from him he is sunk in the depths of despair. Called to the death-bed of his mother, on returning he finds Carmen before the arena in Seville with the bull fighter Escamillo, to whom she has promised her love if he is the victor at the fight. She is approached by José, who asks her to return to him, and when she coldly repulses him he stabs her through the heart.
Based on the book by Prosper Merimée CARMEN was first performed on 3rd March 1875 at the Paris Opéra Comique. Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.
The musical Carmen Jones opened on Broadway in December 1943 and ran for 502 performances. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The 1954 film starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.