Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Arena Is Full of Blood!!!

Detail of Bullfight, Suerte de Varas (1824) by Francisco Goya

Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen, premiered on March 3, 1875.

In operatic history, it is one of the most influential works, bringing into vogue an interest in realism as a viable subject matter for the stage. The music became a staple of the repertoire, breaking the Italian and German dominance of the genre. Sadly, it was Bizet's last opera, but it certainly was a masterful way in which to punctuate the life of a composer.

So, let's celebrate this classic work. And what of the Goya paintings? Well, the opera is about beauty, passion, and death in 1820s Spain. I figured the Goya's would make a nice visual accompaniment. ;-)

Detail of Young Woman with a Letter (1819) by Francisco Goya

Let's listen to some music.

"Habanera" performed by Angela Gheorghiu

"Toreador Song" performed by Ruggero Raimondi

"March of the Toreador and Chorus (Act IV)"


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