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It’s ironic that Carmen, this stereotypical Spanish woman, was created by two Frenchmen: Prosper Mérimée and Georges Bizet. In 1867, Bizet wrote to a friend: “my sensuous nature lets itself be enthralled by a music which is easy, lazy, loving, lascivious and passionate. I am a German by conviction, heart and soul, but sometimes I sink into the artistic slums”. The dialectic of attraction/repulsion of the self-styled ‘German’ for places of easy taste mark the military music and outdoor festive scenes in Carmen. With them Bizet aimed perhaps at seducing the socially mixed audience at the Paris Opéra-Comique, thus enabling them to digest the perceived immorality of the plot and the counterpoint virtuosity of the quintet “Nous avons en tête une affaire”.