Sunday, October 29, 2006


The wife and I went to see the opera "Carmen"(by Georges Bizet), on Friday night. It was excellent and it played to a packed house. There are only two performances, Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Last Wednesday was Bizet's birthday (October 25, 1838) and the local radio classical music station played a special selection of his music to honor him. I looked up Bizet and was surprised to learn that he died at the age of 36. He was a genius, a child prodigy. He died in 1875, several months after his greatest work, "Carmen", played to disappointing reviews, believing that it was a failure.

I really love the music to this opera; my favorites are the following (YouTube videos so give them a chance to load up):

L'amour est un oiseau (Habanero) - where Carmen first tempts Don Jose,
Près des remparts de Séville - where she persuades Don Jose to free her from jail,
Les tringles des sistres tintaient (The Gypsy Song) - where the gypsy girls dance in the tavern,
Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (The Toreador Song) - sung by Escamillo, and
La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (The Flower Song) - where Don Jose pledges his love for Carmen.

Update: Most of the links were not working so I removed them from the post.

These are the lyrics to the Gypsy Song:

The rods of the sistrums
With a metallic brightness
And to this strange music
The gypsy girls get up.
Tambourines keep the beat
And the frenzied guitars
Grinding under persistant hands,
The same song, the same refrain,
Tra la la la.
Tra la la la.
Tra la la la.

Rings of copper and silver,
gleamed on brownish skin,
of orange and of red stripes,
the fabrics (of their garments) fluttered in the wind.
The dance to the song was wed ,
At first indecisive and timid,
more lively then and more rapid,
it climbed, climbed, climbed, climbed!
Tra la la la , etc.!

The gypsy men, with all their might
caused their instruments to rage,
And this dazzling uproar,
bewitched the gypsy women!
Beneath the rhythm of the song, ardent, crazy,
They let themselves, intoxicated,
Be carried away by the whirlwind!
Tra, la la la, etc.

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