Carmen - Georges Bizet
Information about the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, and the best recordings available on CD or DVD, or for download.
A thrilling opera, skillfully orchestrated incorporating dances and gipsy songs. Based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée.
The opera is about a soldier's jealousy when his gipsy girlfriend becomes impressed by a heroic bullfighter.
Recommended recordings on CD
Karajan/Simionato/Gedda (Andante AN3100)
A legendary concert performance of Carmen performed in Vienna in 1954.
Vienna Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, 1954.
Cast: Giulietta Simionato (Carmen), Nicolai Gedda (Don José), Hilde Güden (Micaëla), Michel Roux (Escamillo).
Andante AN3100 (mono)
Abbado/Berganza/Domingo (Deutsche Grammophon 427 885-2)
A first-rate recording with an excellent cast.
Ambrosian Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado, 1977.
Cast: Teresa Berganza (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Ileana Cotrubas (Micaëla), Sherrill Milnes (Escamillo).
Deutsche Grammophon 427 885-2
Recommended recordings on DVD
A passionate production with a near-perfect cast, superbly filmed for DVD. Unmissable.
Jordan/Otter/Haddock (OA 0867 D)
A new production from Glyndebourne by David McVicar.
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, conducted by Philippe Jordan.
Cast: Anne Sofie von Otter (Carmen), Marcus Haddock (Don José), Laurent Naouri (Micaëla), Lisa Milne (Escamillo).
OA 0867 D
Kleiber/Obraztsova/Domingo (TDK DV-CLOPCAR)
Live from the Vienna State Opera in 1978, this historic recording features a legendary collaboration between Franko Zeffirelli's production, Carlos Kleiber's conducting, and Plácido Domingo's singing. It's a pity that the video and audio quality fall short.
Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna State Opera Orchestra, conducted by Carlos Kleiber.
Cast: Elena Obraztsova (Carmen), Plácido Domingo (Don José), Isobel Buchanan (Micaëla), Yuri Mazurok (Escamillo).
Also included in the boxed set:
Magic Moments of Opera