Music Composers

Georges Bizet-Part 8

The libretto is written after the famous novel of Prosper Merimee, which portrays the bizarre customs of the gypsies. Of course, Merimee does not hesitate to introduce us to the most abject collections of crooks and bandits; but who would accuse of immorality the fascinating writer? Carmen is the history of the bandit Don Jose Navarro, whom the author of the novel met in the mountains of the Sierra. Touched by the sympathy this stranger had shown to him Jose opens to him his heart and lays bare the ravages made in his soul, formerly the soul of an honest man, by the black eyes of the cursed Bohemian, the frenetic love which has mastered him at the sight of the heartless girl. He had enrolled in a regiment of dragoons in Seville, rapidly had gained the degree of brigadier and was waiting a further advancement. One day he was put to watch the manufacture of tobacco and charged to escort to prison Carmencita, a gypsy girl who, in a violent scene, had wounded a companion with her knife. On the way to prison she tries the power of her charms and Don Jose succumbs to her witchery and consents to let her escape. He is degraded and thrown into prison, but as soon as he comes out he meets again Carmen who generously pays her debt of gratitude. However, the inconstant Carmen cannot limit herself for along time to a single love. She repels him. One evening he surprises Carmen in company with an officer of the dragoons. Maddened by jealousy Jose insults his superior. A duel ensues in which Jose kills his rival. He must save himself in the mountains and becomes a smuggler. That pleases Don Jose, who says to Carmen: "When I have you in the mountains there is no officer there with whom I must divide you."

"Idiot that you are, to be jealous. Don't you see that I love you as I do not ask your money."

The Etude Magazine July 1921





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