G. Bizet. Opera “Carmen“ (concert performance)
Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, led by its artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius, begins its new season with one of the most famous works in the world – Georges Bizet’s (1838-1875) opera “Carmen”. After finishing the opera orchestration in the summer of 1874, Bizet felt very sure about the success of his work: “They blamed me that my music was unclear, complicated, boring, without inspiration. That's it; this time I wrote a piece full of clarity and vitality, colours and melodies."
However, when the opera was performed for the first time in 1875, it caused a scandal and shocked the entire Paris – simply because the audience was not ready to see the "common people" and "immorality" depicted on the stage. Unfortunately, G. Bizet died exactly three months after the premiere of the opera, at the age of just 36, without even knowing that a few months later, the production of "Carmen" would take place in Vienna, after which the critics would recognize the work as a masterpiece. In the next three years after the premiere, the opera was staged in almost all European opera houses. Composer Richard Strauss wrote about its music: "If you want to learn the art of orchestration, don't study the scores of R. Wagner, but rather pick up “Carmen”."
The story of this opera takes place in Seville, where Carmen – a young, rebellious tobacco factory worker – starts a fight. She is arrested by sergeant Don José, who, blinded by his sudden passion for Carmen, allows her to escape, and as a result goes to prison himself. Because of his love for Carmen, he leaves his fiancée Mikaela and joins the smugglers. However, Carmen, tired of Don José's jealousy, allows herself to be seduced by the charming bullfighter Escamillo. Desperate, Don José kills Carmen.
The music of G. Bizet's opera "Carmen" perfectly conveys the characters' feelings and their prominent psychological features. The sense of reality created in the opera became a turning point in the entire history of the genre. The listeners are still fascinated by lively characters, unrestrained emotions, and the fully saturated colour palette of life.