Georges Bizet

The liberated woman

“Carmen” by Georges Bizet—the most frequently staged and the most popular French opera of all time—is a story of love, passion and death. It is also the legend of the liberated and independent woman par excellence.

And so in today’s episode, we analyze the role of the emancipated woman throughout history.We travel to such key places in the opera as Seville and Paris. We interview mezzo-soprano María José Montiel and psychologist Trinidad Núñez who give us their visions of the character of Carmen as a symbol of all women who have been ahead of their time.

We relive the opening night in 1875 at Paris’s National Theatre for Comic Opera, and the scandal it caused at the time. Bizet—who died three months later—never got to enjoy the success his opera would be over time.

And finally, we review its three big hits, which actually correspond to three different musical genres: a habanera, a seguidilla and a cuplé (the famous theme of the toreador). And we’ll do all this accompanied on the piano by our host, Ramón Gener, in a one-of-a-kind setting: Seville.

"Carmen" Gran Teatre del Liceu, UNITEL 2010
"Carmen" Wiener-Staatsoper ORF, BR, UNITEL 2010

María José Montiel
Trinidad Núñez