Today in Paris, France, composer Georges Bizet was born in 1838. Though he had no great body of operas to contribute to the repertoire, not like Verdi, he certainly has a created an operatic legacy enjoyed today because of Carmen, his best known work.
It was composed not long before he died. Sadly, he didn’t live long enough to witness the success of it.
Bachtrack.com lists 47 performances of Carmen on its site featuring live classical performances worldwide including Deutsche Oper, the San Francisco Opera Company, Latvian National Opera, and Zurich Opera.
Another of his operas performed occasionally is Les Pêcheurs de Perles or The Pearl Fishers.
In celebration of Bizet and the music of his best known operas, here’s a few “Habaneras” for you.
Here’s Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham in a 2005 performance of Carmen, whom I recently heard in the role for Opera Company of Philadelphia, reviewed here:
Now for a “Habanera” completely different in style and staging, here’s Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza’s “Habanera:”
And in concert is Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča:
Do you have a favorite performance of Carmen or the Habanera?