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September 2014
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Fishing for Pearls by the Composer of “Carmen”

Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet

Hear The Pearl Fishers on the Tuesday Night Opera at 8:00 pm

The opera catalog of Georges Bizet is littered with words like “lost,” “unfinished,” “incomplete,” “sketches,” or even “incomplete, lost or not begun.” His greatest hit, Carmen, is so full of enchanting music, it’s hard to imagine how inspiration could be so fleeting.

In fact, Carmen had a rough start in 1875: it was considered a failure, but only initially. Only eight years separate Carmen’s premiere and the popular spin-off Carmen Fantasy by violin virtuoso Pablo di Sarasate. Sadly, Bizet was already dead and never knew of Sarasate’s Fantasy or of the enthusiasm with which CarmenĀ was received shortly after the premiere.

There are over a dozen operas by Bizet; only seven have been recorded. Many of his attempts in the form are not in working order today.

The Pearl Fishers contains one of the most popular duets in all of opera: “Au fond du temple saint.” Hear that duet and the complete opera, The Pearl Fishers, on the Tuesday Night Opera with Peter van de Graaff starting at 8:00 pm.

View the Vocal Score.

Here’s a video by an unlikely advocate for Georges Bizet’s other operas: David Gilmour, formerly of Pink Floyd.

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