opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet

Carmen is a French opera written and first performed on 3 March 1875 by Georges Bizet. The story is set in Spain. It is based on the story of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.

Magdalena Kožená as Carmen and Jonas Kaufmann as Don José at the Salzburg Festival 2012

Roles change

The story change

Carmen is about a gypsy girl who works in a factory. She falls in love with a soldier called Don José, who loves her. However, he is already engaged to somebody else. Later, he leaves the girl he was engaged to and the army for Carmen. Running away together, they are happy for a while until Carmen decides she loves a bullfighter called Escamillo. She leaves Don José. One day when Carmen is watching a bullfight, Don José waits for her and then tries to make her come back. She refuses, so he stabs her to death. Horrified at what he has done, he goes to jail.

Discography change

  • 1911: Marguerite Merentie (Carmen), Agustarello Affre (Don José), Alline Vallandri (Micaëla), Henri Albers (Escamillo); Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique de Paris, François Ruhlman - (Marston)
  • 1920: Raymonde Visconti (Carmen), Georges Thill (Don José), Marthe Nespoulous (Micaëla), Louis Guénot (Escamillo); Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique de Paris, Élie Cohen - (EMI Classics)
  • 1950: Solange Michel (Carmen), Raoul Jobin (Don José), Martha Angelici (Micaëla), Michel Dens (Escamillo); Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique de Paris, André Cluytens - (EMI Classics)
  • 1951: Risë Stevens (Carmen), Jan Peerce (Don José), Licia Albanese (Micaëla), Robert Merrill (Escamillo); Robert Shaw Chorale, RCA Victor Orchestra, Fritz Reiner - (RCA Victor)
  • 1959: Victoria de los Angeles (Carmen), Nicolai Gedda (Don José), Janine Micheau (Micaëla), Ernest Blanc (Escamillo); Chœurs et Orchestre National de La Radiodiffusion Francaise, Thomas Beecham - (EMI Classics)
  • 1963: Regina Resnik (Carmen), Mario del Monaco (Don José), Joan Sutherland (Micaëla), Tom Krause (Escamillo); Chœurs Du Grand Theatre De Geneve, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Thomas Schippers - (Decca)
  • 1963: Leontyne Price (Carmen), Franco Corelli (Don José), Mirella Freni (Micaëla), Robert Merrill (Escamillo); Wiener Staatopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan - (RCA Victor)
  • 1964: Maria Callas (Carmen), Nicolai Gedda (Don José), Andréa Guiot (Micaëla), Robert Massard (Escamillo); Chœurs René Duclos, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris, Georges Prêtre - (EMI Classics)
  • 1969: Grace Bumbry (Carmen), Jon Vickers (Don José), Mirella Freni (Micaëla), Kostas Paskalis (Escamillo); Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos - (EMI Classics)
  • 1970: Anna Moffo (Carmen), Franco Corelli (Don José), Helen Donath (Micaëla), Piero Cappuccilli (Escamillo); Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Lorin Maazel - (Sony)
  • 1972: Marilyn Horne (Carmen), James McCracken (Don José), Adriana Maliponte (Micaëla), Tom Krause (Escamillo); Manhattan Opera Chorus, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein - (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • 1975: Tatiana Troyanos (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Kiri Te Kanawa (Micaëla), José van Dam (Escamillo); John Alldis Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg Solti - (Decca)
  • 1977: Teresa Berganza (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Ileana Cotrubas (Micaëla), Sherrill Milnes (Escamillo); The Ambrosian Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado - (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • 1982: Agnes Baltsa (Carmen), José Carreras (Don José), Katia Ricciarelli (Micaëla), José van Dam (Escamillo); Chœurs de l’Opéra de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan - (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • 1984: Julia Migenes (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Faith Esham (Micaëla), Ruggero Raimondi (Escamillo); Chœurs de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Lorin Maazel - (Erato)
  • 1988: Jessye Norman (Carmen), Neil Shicoff (Don José), Mirella Freni (Micaëla), Simon Estes (Escamillo); Chœurs de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Seiji Ozawa - (Philips)
  • 1995: Jennifer Larmore (Carmen), Thomas Moser (Don José), Angela Gheorghiu (Micaëla), Samuel Ramey (Escamillo); Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Giuseppe Sinopoli - (Teldec)
  • 2002: Angela Gheorghiu (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José), Inva Mula (Micaëla), Thomas Hampson (Escamillo); Chœurs “Les Éléments”, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson - (EMI Classics)
  • 2005: Marina Domashenko (Carmen), Andrea Bocelli (Don José), Eva Mei (Micaëla), Bryn Terfel (Escamillo); Chœurs de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Myung Whun Chung - (Decca)

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