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
Bizet: L'arlésienne, Carmen - Suites / Bramall, Slovak Po
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550061   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
Release Date: 01/28/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550727   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Symphony In C - Jeux D'enfants
Release Date: 01/04/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553027   Number of Discs: 1
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Classics Explained - An Introduction To Bizet: Carmen
Release Date: 07/16/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8558010   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Haitink, Ewing, McCauley, et al
Release Date: 09/27/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2843   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Seguidilla

Browse 51-75 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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  ... 
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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  ... 
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  • 61.
    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
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  • 62.
    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
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  • 63.
    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
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  • 64.
    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  ... 
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  • 65.
    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,  Grace Bumbry,  Kostas Paskalis,  Bernard Gontcharenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
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  • 66.
    Queen Of The Night - Electric Eclectic Opera / B.j. Ward
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 252 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Douglas Moore,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  B.J. Ward,  Michael Sushel,  George Hearn
    Conductor:  Andy Waterman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Synthony Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
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  • 67.
    Stand-up Opera - Live From Ambassador Auditorium / B.j. Ward
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 255 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Félicien César David,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Gregory Jefferson,  Michael Sushel,  B.J. Ward
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  • 68.
    The Prima Voce Treasury Of Opera Vol 1
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1742 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Eidé Noréna,  Conchita Supervia,  Tito Schipa,  Riccardo Stracciari  ... 
    Conductor:  Henri Défosse,  Angelo Albergoni,  Giorgio Polacco,  Nils Grevillius  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odeon-Künstler Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 69.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Migenes, Domingo, Maazel
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45209 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Julia Migenes,  Faith Esham,  Placido Domingo,  Lillian Watson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 70.
    Bizet: Carmen - Excerpts / Lombard, Urai-monzon, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4853 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Christian Papis,  Martine Olmeda,  Maryse Castets  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra,  Bordeaux Grand-Theatre Chorus
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  • 71.
    Victoria De Los Angeles Live In Tokyo
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 18 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rafael Calleja,  Georges Bizet,  Blas de Laserna,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Manuel Garcia-Morante
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  • 72.
    Cecilia Bartoli - Live In Italy / Thibaudet, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455981 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Caccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
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  • 73.
    Callas Edition - Callas Ŕ Paris - Arias 1
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66466 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustave Charpentier,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Four Famous Mezzos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89977 Release Date: 10/21/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Georgine von Milinkovic,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Esther Réthy,  Elfriede Trötschel  ... 
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  • 75.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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