Georges Bizet
1838 to 1875
image of Bizet

His Life
Bizet was a child prodigy comparable even to the amazing Mozart in his first years. Born in Paris, Bizet was only nine when he entered the Paris Conservatory of Music.

Bizet struggled most of his life trying to get the recognition he deserved. Since Paris was at the time Europe's most prominent city for opera, he pinned all his hopes on writing one which would be successful. Finally he composed Carmen, an opera about a troubled soldier and a bullfighter (a toreador) who are both smitten by the beautiful Carmen. Finally it was this opera which would eventually be acknowledged to be his masterpiece.

The initial reception to Carmen, though, was not positive. It seemed too realistic and, at the end, too tragic for the audiences which first saw it. Sadly, Bizet died a few months after the opening, never knowing how music lovers would eventually learn to love Carmen for its power and for its drama.

His Works
Of all Bizet's compositions, Carmen is overwhelmingly the one which is performed most often.

You can download Bizet's
AudioAudio of
Toreador from Carmen
play excerpt of original
Habanera from Carmen
play excerpt of original

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