Georges Bizet

Biography

Born: 1838   Died: 1875   Country: France   Period: Romantic
Known for one of the world's most popular operas, Carmen, Georges Bizet deserves attention as well for other works of remarkable melodic charm. Many of his works received cool receptions on their premieres but are now considered central to the repertory of classical music.

Bizet was born in Paris on October 25, 1838, and grew up in a happy, musical family that encouraged his talents. He learned to read music at the same time he learned to
Read more read letters, and equally well. Entering the Paris Conservatory before he was ten, he earned first prize in solfčge within six months, a first prize in piano in 1852, and eventually, the coveted Prix de Rome in 1857 for his cantata Clovis et Clotilde. His teachers had included Marmontel for piano and Halévy for composition, but the greatest influence on him was Charles Gounod, of whom Bizet later said "You were the beginning of my life as an artist." Bizet himself hid away his Symphony in C, written when he was 17, feeling it was too much like its models, Gounod's symphonies. The two years spent in Rome after winning his prize, would be the only extensive time, and a greatly impressionable one, that Bizet would spend outside of Paris in his brief life. When he returned to Paris, he lost confidence in his natural talents and began to substitute dry Germanic or academic writing for his own developing idiom. He composed a one-act opera for production at the Opéra-Comique, but the theater's director engaged him to write a full-length opera instead, Les pęcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). It was not a success at the time, but despite a few weaknesses, the work was revived in 1886, and its sheer beauty has earned it a respected position among the lesser-played operatic repertory. In 1863 Bizet's father bought land outside Paris where he built two bungalows, one of which Bizet frequently used as a compositional retreat. He began a friendship (apparently not a physical one) with a neighbor-woman named Céleste Mogador, a former actress, author, courtesan, circus rider, and dance-hall girl. She is said to have been the model for his masterpiece's title role of Carmen. Bizet earned his living as an accompanist and publishing house arranger. Meanwhile, he poured his creative efforts into an immense five-act opera in the grand tradition, Ivan IV, but it was never performed. This proved to be a pattern for the rest of his career. Bizet would work hard to get an opera produced, and even if he did, it would usually receive only a handful of performances. Bizet's corpus of unfinished works is large, and testifies to his unsettled existence and his difficulty in finding a place in France's notoriously hierarchical and conservative musical world. In 1869 Bizet married Genevičve Halévy, daughter of his teacher. The marriage did not turn out to be a happy one, primarily due to her family's history of mental illness. In 1872, Bizet's splendid incidental music for the play L'arlčsienne was poorly received, but when the composer assembled the music into an orchestral suite for a November performance, it found great acclaim. At last confident of his creative vision, Bizet was able to steer his final masterpiece through various obstacles, including the objections of singers and theater directors who were shocked by Carmen's subject matter. When the opera had its premiere on March 3, 1875, it was received barely well enough to hang on for future productions. Although it took audiences only a few weeks to catch on, Bizet died convinced it was a failure. Read less

Work: Carmen: Seguidilla

Browse 51-75 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Only Opera Album You Will Ever Need
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 51677 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
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  • 52.
    La Diva / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000439102 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucio Quarantotto,  Lucio Dalla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  James Banbury,  John Pancelli,  John Paricelli
    Conductor:  James Banbury,  William Hayward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Film Orchestra,  Metro Voices,  National Youth Choir of Wales
    CD: $14.99
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  • 53.
    Arias /  Aldona Stempuzis
    Label: Legacy Collections   Catalog: 5637484502 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Aldona Stempuzis
    CD: $19.99
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  • 54.
    San Francisco Opera Gems Volume 2 / Merola, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2287/89 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Richard Strauss,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Alessio De Paolis,  John Garris,  Mack Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Gaetano Merola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Chorus
    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $28.99
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  • 55.
    Original Masters - Grace Bumbry - Early Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775250 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Sebastian Peschko,  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Erik Werba  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Maurice Abravanel,  Hans Löwlein,  János Kulka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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    On sale! $33.98
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  • 56.
    Una Voce Poco Fa - Portrait Of Teresa Berganza
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233502 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jesus Guridi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Jesús y Gárate Arámbarri,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Felix Lavilla Munarriz,  Roger Hager,  Geoffrey Parsons
    Conductor:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Gerardo Gombau,  Benito Lauret  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 57.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Jennie Tourel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89589 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel
    Conductor:  Pietro Cimara,  Fausto Cleva,  Jean Paul Morel,  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 58.
    Malena Ernman - My Love
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 5020 Release Date: 10/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bo Nilsson,  Nils Lindberg,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Magnus Lindgren,  Malena Ernman,  Mats Bergström,  Hans Backenroth
    CD: $21.49
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  • 59.
    Regina Resnik - Dramatic Scenes & Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 475017 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  George Forrest,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Regina Resnik,  Robert Merrill,  Peter Gougaloff  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Mike Sammes Singers  ... 
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  • 60.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Favorite French Excerpts
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8016 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy,  Gustave Charpentier,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 61.
    Great Voices Of The Past - The Sopranos
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8013 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Claudia Muzio,  Conchita Supervia,  Magda Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 62.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Marie-luise Schilp
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89563 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Giacomo Puccini,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Luise Schilp,  Erna Berger,  Irma Beilke,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Arthur Grüber,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Winfried Zillig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 63.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Sinopoli, Larmore, Moser, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 48727 Release Date: 02/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore,  Thomas Moser,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Samuel Ramey
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
    CD: $8.99
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  • 64.
    Opera Obsession! Act Ii - Opera D'oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 02/04/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  François Boieldieu,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giuliano Cianella,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Maria Callas,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Tullio Serafin,  Jean Fournet,  Henry Lewis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Hilversum Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 65.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Gladys Swarthout
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89561 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Gladys Swarthout,  Ramon Vinay,  Lucielle Browning,  Thelma Votipka
    Conductor:  Jean Paul Morel,  François Morel,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 66.
    Maria Callas At Covent Garden, 1962 & 1964
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 77789 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Dennis Wicks,  Renato Cioni,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre,  Carlo Felice Cillario
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 67.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Risë Stevens
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89556 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Erna Berger,  Risë Stevens,  Raoul Jobin
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Georges Sebastian,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Frieder Weissmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 68.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 69.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 70.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maria Olszewska
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89526 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Genia Guszalewicz,  Else Knepel,  Maria Olszewska,  Emil Schipper  ... 
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Fritz Zweig,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 71.
    Ira Malaniuk - Arien Und Lieder
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90428 Release Date: 12/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Taras Shevchenko,  M. Voloshyn,  Mykola Lysenko  ... 
    Performer:  Ira Malaniuk,  N. Kupdehraben
    Conductor:  Andriy Hnatyszyn,  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Saint Barbara Church Choir of Vienna,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 72.
    The Best Of Opera Vol 5
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554683 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 73.
    Bizet: Carmen (Highlights) / de Burgos, Bumbry, Freni, Vickers, Paris National Opera Orchestra
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74127 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Claude Meloni,  Bernard Gontcharenko,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris,  Paris Opera Chorus
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    On sale! $6.99
    CD: $4.99
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  • 74.
    Waldoper Zoppot - The Bayreuth Of The North - 99 Singers
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89406 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Claire Dux,  Robert Hager,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Ludwig Hofmann  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 75.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Aline Sanden
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89196 Release Date: 07/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Leos Janácek,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Zinaida Jurjewskaja,  Aline Sanden
    On sale! $22.98
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