Notes:Carmen is a French opera by Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Meilhac and Halévy, based on the story of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.
The opera premiered at the Opéra Comique of Paris on March 3, 1875. For a year after its premiere, it was considered a failure, denounced by critics as "immoral" and "superficial".
The story is set in Seville, Spain, circa 1830, and concerns the eponymous Carmen, a beautiful Gypsy with a fiery temper. Free with her love, she woos the corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier. Their relationship leads to his rejection of his former love, mutiny against his superior, turn to a criminal life, and ultimately, out of jealousy, murder of Carmen. Although he is briefly happy with Carmen, he falls into madness when she turns from him to the bullfighter Escamillo.
Several well-known pieces from this opera have taken on a life separate to the work: the Prélude (overture), the Toréador Song, and the Habanera.
Today, it is one of the world's most popular operas and a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. Carmen appears as number four on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.