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Tristan Temple-Murray

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Carmen

Georges Bizet
•Carmen is a French opera written by the French composer Georges Bizet.

• The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy.

•The opera Carmen, is about a foolish soldier named Don Jose who falls in love with a gypsy temptress for which the opera is named; Carmen. Don Jose leaves his childhood sweetheart to pursue Carmen only to be bested by Toreador Escamillo. In a fit of jealous rage Don Jose kills Carmen.

•The opera was first performed at the Opera-Comique in Paris, March 3rd 1875. The opera comique is a Parisian opera company as well as a genre.
Piece Background
Although most of Bizet's operas were short lived, they did open doors for him, allowing him to write more works. After the eleventh presentation of Djamileh, the "Opera Comique" commissioned another show to be written. Bizet was ecstatic about the chance to write again, and began working with his wife's cousin; Ludovic Halevy.

Bizet began working on Carmen in 1872 after Djamileh. It was first performed October 3rd 1875 written and first performed in Paris.
Prelude Form Structure
•The prelude is one of the most famous Rondos ever written.

•A rondo is a piece of music written in which the main theme repeatedly returns. ABA, ABACA, and ABACADA are types of rondos written in the Classical period.

•The Carmen prelude was written in ABACAD without returning to the original theme A.

•The prelude is written with a Homophonic texture, meaning it has a melody and accompaniment. The main melody stands out while the other parts form a background or harmonies and counter-melodies
By Tristan and Connor
Prelude, Act 1 scene 5
•Georges Bizet, formally Alexandre Cesar Leopold Bizet, was born October 25 1838 and died June 3 1875 (Age 37).

•Bizet wrote mostly operas, many of which were short lived, only playing 10 or so times before closing.

• Bizet died before Carmen became famous, as it wasn’t met with much praise during his lifetime.
•The prelude includes solely the orchestra.
•It begins in A major and ends in C major.
• A, B, A, C, A are all in A major. D is the only part of the prelude that changes keys.
The rhythm used most in the prelude is
•The tempo of section A of the prelude is Allegro-Giocoso and is very dramatic.
•Section B and C sounds slower but in reality is the same tempo, only less dramatic.
•Section D is the only part of the prelude that changes tempo. It slows down to 58 BPM (Adagio)
Unifying Features
One of the only unifying features the prelude has is that it continuously returns back to section A.
Form Structure
•The Habanera is one of the most famous Arias. Most people have heard it even though they might not know the name.

•The real name of the Aria is "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" meaning love is a rebellious bird.

•This aria is sung by Carmen the namesake of the opera.
The Habanera is written with a Homophonic texture, meaning it has a melody and accompaniment. The main melody stands out while the other parts form a backround or harmonies and counter-melodies.
•The Habanera is a solo with accompaniment by an orchestra and multiple background singers.

•It changes keys multiple times; starting in D minor, to D major, back to D minor and finally finishing in D major.

•The melody is based off of a descending chromatic scale with variants in the minor then major key.
The rhythm of the Habanera is based completely off of a latin rhythm called "The Habanera"
Unifying Features
The unifying feature we found for this section of Carmen was the rhythm "The Habanera". It's present throughout the entire Aria
Other Info
The inspiration for this Opera came from a novel of the same name written by Prosper Merimée.
Other Info
The score of this Aria was adapted from "El Arreglito" composed by Sebastian Yradier. Bizet thought it was just an old folk song, but realizing his mistake added an acknowledgment in the vocal score.
The tempo at the beginning is Allegretto quasi Andantino - 72bpm and stays true until the end.
Carmen remains one of the most enduring classics of our age. The brilliant score, fantastic libretto and timeless subject of love and betrayal keeps Bizet's "Carmen" an Opera for all generations.
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