Georges Bizet’s Carmen – Unappreciated in the Composer’s Lifetime

Georges Bizet’s Carmen pic

Georges Bizet’s Carmen
Image: britannica.com

As co-owner of MPC Containment International, Edward Reicin consults with a firm that offers a host of portable storage tank solutions. Also an Illinois-based attorney, Edward Reicin has a passion for classic opera and has appeared in lead roles in a number of Lyric Opera of Chicago productions. Among the opera company’s 2017 productions have been My Fair Lady, Eugene Onegin, and Georges Bizet’s masterwork Carmen.

First performed in March, 1875, Carmen was a groundbreaking work that puzzled and angered French audiences initially, in large part due to its earthy and sensuous style that seemed to encourage immorality.

The 36-year-old composer had achieved only intermittent success with projects such as The Fair Maid of Perth and The Pearl Fishers. With its plot centered on a Spanish soldiers’ ill-omened love for a fiery gypsy woman, Bizet himself selected Prosper Merimee’s novel Carmen as the ideal dramatic vehicle to adapt. Completing basic orchestrations by 1874, he fought with theater management to retain the earthiness and dramatic tension of the work and constantly reworked the score in ways that tightened the action. The sensuous mezzo-soprano aria Habanera was revised no less than a dozen times in consultation with Celestine Galli-Marie, the actor who originated the role of Carmen.

Unfortunately, the realistic themes of obsession, a forerunner of the verismo school of opera, evoked a cold critical reaction that left Bizet deflated and unnerved. He fell into a deep depression that likely harmed his health, and passed away only three months after Carmen’s premiere.

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What to Expect at the Metropolitan Opera

 

Metropolitan Opera pic

Metropolitan Opera
Image: metopera.org

Edward Reicin is currently a professional opera singer, who supports various charities and philanthropic organizations dedicated to the arts. The development chairman of the central region of the Metropolitan Opera council, Edward Reicin dedicates much of his time to supporting this beloved institution, which has continued to entertain audiences for nearly 150 years.

Going to the opera can be a daunting experience for those new to the art. The Metropolitan Opera is best experienced with proper etiquette and an open mind. A staple of New York City living, the Met offers over 24 opera performances each season, with something for everyone. Watching video clips online can make it easier to choose a performance and to prepare for the night ahead.

While there is no true dress code, a night at the opera is often a cause to get dressed up. Many people worry about not understanding the story being told. However, technology plays a large part in opera today. Each seat provides a seat-back screen, displaying subtitles for what is sung onstage.

During breaks, it’s often a great time to grab champagne and to explore the grandeur of this historical building. Located in Lincoln Center beside the famed Juilliard School for the Arts, the upper levels have incredible views of the city.