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“This is one of the most pleasing Overture Opera Guides to date. They are fast becoming as necessary to a good night at the opera as a ticket in the better parts of the house.” - BBC Music Magazine
“Neat little volumes they are, handy for carrying around, clearly printed and well set-out, complete with libretto and translation, discography and a generous selection of illustrations.” - Gramophone
“For everything you need to know, concisely packaged.” - The Telegraph
“This is an invaluable addition to an already valuable series . . . In short, a must for every Carmen-lover's (and director's) bookshelf” - Opera Magazine
“Beautifully produced and designed . . . they are terrific value.” - Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Georges Bizet (1838 - 1875) was a French composer of great brilliance and originality, but who never lived to see the success of his work. In addition to Carmen, his operas include Les pécheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth. He died, aged thirty-six, three months after failure of the Paris premiere of Carmen. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are a lot of words without translation but sometimes the same character explain the meaning. In pos 297 "I call myself Don, because I have a right to it, and if I were at Elizondo I could show you my parchment genealogy"
Some other words without translation in this edition you have an explication like the word "Veintiquatro" the editor said that it refer to a Magistrate in charge of the municipal police arrangements, and local government regulations.
I find this edition could help to understand some gipsy and spanish old costumes.
I recommend this book and this edition when you want to read classics books.
In the last chapter, there is some information about the gypsies, because the French author studied about this nomad population; therefore he shares his knowledge with his readers: gypsy costumes, Romani terms are explained (throughout the novella), their believes, marriage, witchcraft etc.
The story begins with the narrator chancing upon Don Jose and making his acquaintance, deducing who he is but caring little for tales of him and by being hospitable he shows no fear. The two become friends and the narrator saves Don Jose from being captured. He meets him again later as a prisoner and learns from his own lips the relationship between him and Carmen. This relationship is all that is portrayed in the opera, and Lucas, the picador, is never presented in the story.
Carmen is shown as self-willed, a true gypsy, a thief and spy for a band of thieves, of which Don Jose becomes a member. He is torn between his upbringing and his love for Carmen but Carmen uses his love for her, despite reciprocating it, to destroy his morals and personality so that in the end Don Jose kills her. She has foreseen this end and tells him so before her death and Don Jose then turns himself in to the authorities for her murder. This is where the narrator leaves him, sentenced to death by garroting, supposedly a better form of killing due to his societal position. The book is well annotated towards the Basque language and Merimee uses a fourth chapter in the story to discuss the language, this chapter having nothing to do with the story itself.