Bizet

October 27, 2010 on 8:42 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bizet

In class, we talked a lot about some of the themes, ideas, and events in Carmen and watched many video clips of the opera, but we did not seem to spend a lot of time on the biography of composer Georges Bizet. When we discussed other works in class, we spent a lot of time discussing the composers almost more than their music. However, it seems that his work, Carmen, is almost more famous than the composer himself (and one of the most famous operas ever written) so it makes more sense that we spent almost all the time discussing the opera.
However, I wanted to learn a little more about Bizet and did some research on him. I soon realized why the composer himself was not a hot discussion topic in class. Unlike Mozart who had a short yet interesting career and odd personality, or Bach who had a long life and career full of facts and events, Bizet had a short and seemingly uninteresting life and career. He grew up in a musical family where he began playing and composing at a young age. Eventually he did win the Prix de Rome, like many other composers we’ve discussed in class, and like many others did not complete much while in Rome.
His main claim to fame is Carmen. However, because it contained such controversial topics such as promiscuous sex, morality issues, and murder, it was highly criticized at first. This was a hard blow to Bizet, whose health was already poor. He died of a heart attack about three months after he finished Carmen.
Now you can see why Bizet the person was not highly discussed in class. Although maybe it could be that he just simply is not as popular as Beethoven or Mozart and because some of us had not even heard his name before this class, we simply do not know enough about him to really discuss him.
Two interesting facts about Bizet however, are that he had a son with his family’s maid Marie Reiter and that although it is not a well known fact, he was an excellent piano player.

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