It's a sad but oft-repeated tale in classical music — so many of those now hailed as visionary geniuses died thinking themselves a failure or at best only a modest success.
Carmen is often simply understood as a story about a doomed love affair. But there is a little more to it than that … A battle of the sexes The story of Carmen has two central characters. He falls in love with her. She leads him astray. Carmenlanguage professor Peter Robinson makes the point that the real battle in Carmen is between the sexes.
From the very beginning the woman is marked as the enemy. Robinson suggests there are two exotic anecdotes threaded into the story.
Accordingly, Carmen, the gypsy girl, and the nomad smugglers are portrayed as violent, disorderly, superstitious and diabolical. The second anecdote is concerned with order, rationality and logic. He epitomises the hallmarks of French civilisation. These elements, which compose the structure of the story, are linked to control and mastery.
Opera Australia, photo: Branco Gaica Throughout the story, Carmen is associated with the colour red. Red is the life-force itself. But when it spills outside the body, it is the colour of death.
They can only be truly satiated in death. Carmen seeks to keep all men in the world from knowing her. She is portrayed as mysterious, unpredictable, perpetually contradictory and elusive. It also intensifies the themes of the sexual, racial, and exotic in the opera.
They are contagious and seductive, drawing attention to her body and arousing desire. Her melody, which begins after the short instrumental introduction, sounds as if it is slipping in-between the cracks of the notes.
It is excessively chromatic — a chromatic scale ascends and descends through all the 12 semitones of the octave and is less stable than a major or minor scale which is based on 8 notes of the octave — and slippery, descending seductively by half steps. It taunts and teases.
It draws attention to the erogenous zones. But the music also alternately coaxes and frustrates. It lingers on notes that have a strong gravitational urge to move onward.
This helps to create the allure of her exotic, sexy character and to portray her as proficient in the art of seduction. It is made to behave in accordance with the universal tongue of Western art music.
There is a lyrical urgency in the song but the music behaves as if it is constrained. Gradually, the opera leads to inevitable closure brought about by the violent murder of Carmen.
The chromaticism must be excised. Chromatic slippage representing disorder and chaos is expunged, making way for the major triad representing order and uniformity which prevails. The femme fatale character lives on through her music. In death, she has the ultimate control over her destiny.
And thus Carmen is forever immortalised as one of the great heroines.STYLE ANALYSIS OF OVERTURE OF BIZET’S ‘’CARMEN’’ 17/12/ 0 Comments Bizet’s Carmen is first premiered on Opera Comique (Paris) at This is the last piece of Bizet.
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Carmen Quiz Study Guide. a study guide for the quiz on the opera Carmen in general music. STUDY. PLAY. composer of Carmen.
Georges Bizet. language Carmen is written in. French. country Carmen takes place.
Spain. number of acts. four. songs or arias in Carmen. Habanera, Flower Song, Gypsy Song, Prelude, Toreador Song. Sep 22, · Carmen on the Couch: Analyzing Bizet's Bold Heroine She smokes and drinks and brings men to their knees just by crooning a breathy Habanera. She's Carmen, the supreme diva of operatic femmes fatales, the controversial heroine of Bizet's popular opera.
Carmen on the Couch: Analyzing Bizet's Bold Heroine.