Even if you're not an opera aficionado, chances are you’ve already heard most of the music in Bizet’s Carmen. One of the most popular operas of all time, Bizet’s catchy music has appeared in movies, television, and even at the Olympic Games! Read on to see where you may have heard some of the classic songs before, and add your own to the comments below.
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Check out our full Spring 2016 program loaded with fantastic articles and interviews to enhance your experience at the COC. You’ll get fun and informative details about our upcoming productions of Carmen and Maometto II, plus cool photos taking you behind-the-scenes! Pick up the program at the theatre or read it before your performance here!
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Carmen was first performed in 1875 at the Opéra-Comique theatre in Paris, a venue known primarily for family-friendly entertainment. Bizet’s opera, however, was a dramatic departure from that kind of theatre: it featured overtly sexual themes and imagery, morally ambiguous characters, a story that ends with murder, and a female protagonist who proudly defies the social norms and moral codes of her times in favour of a spirited (and, to many of the conservative-minded patrons in the audience, morally suspect) commitment to self-determination. The opera’s content sparked outrage and harsh criticism among the press; the theatre even resorted to giving tickets away for free just to fill the house. Bizet died within three months of the failed premiere, at only 36 years old.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001