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CHAN 3091M
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CHAN 3091
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - Carmen

Bizet: Carmen

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2003

Originally recorded in 2002


Philharmonia Orchestra

David Parry

Garry Magee

baritone - Escamillo

Toby Stafford-Allen

baritone - Moralès

Nicholas Garrett

bass - Zuniga

Paul Parfitt

bass-baritone - A Gipsy

Clare McCaldin

mezzo-soprano - An Orange Vendor

Patricia Bardon

mezzo-soprano - Carmen

Mary Hegarty

soprano - Frasquita

Sally Harrison

soprano - Mercédès

Mary Plazas

soprano - Micaëla

Peter Wedd

tenor - Dancaïre

Julian Gavin

tenor - Don José

Mark Le Brocq

tenor - Remendado

New London Childrens Choir

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir


Watford Colosseum


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Matthew Walker


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 155:00
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Opera - Carmen



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  Opéra comique in four acts  
  Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée  
  New Urtext Edition by Richard Langham Smith with English translation by David Parry, published by Peters Edition Ltd  
1 Prelude 3:22
  Act I  
2 'In the plaza' 2:05
  Soldiers, Moralès  
3 'Just look at that delicious morsel!' 4:09
  Moralès, Soldiers, Micaëla  
4 'Here come our new soldier boys' 2:27
5 'José! There was a girl here looking for you just now' 0:17
  Moralès, Don José  
6 'Off with you old soldier boys' 1:16
7 'Corporal!' 'Sir!' 0:53
  Zuniga, Don José  
8 'We have heard the bell summon us to meet here' 1:34
  Young Men  
9 'Ah, just look!' 4:01
  Soldiers, Cigarette Girls  
10 'But why hasn't she come, our Carmencita?' 1:15
  Soldiers, Young Men, Cigarette Girls, Carmen  
11 'Love's a bird wild as any rebel' (Habanera) 4:31
  Carmen, Cigarette Girls, Young Men, Soldiers  
12 'Carmen! We will follow you high and low!' 1:34
  Young Men, Carmen, Don José, Cigarette Girls  
13 'The cheek of it!' 0:22
  Don José, Micaëla  
14 'Give me news of my mother!' 1:31
  Don José, Micaëla  
15 'Your dear mother and I were leaving church this morning' 2:15
  Don José, Micaëla  
16 'I see my mother's face!' 5:50
  Don José, Micaëla  
17 'Wait a moment - I'm going to read the letter' 0:32
  Don José, Micaëla  
18 'Come and help!' 2:58
  Cigarette Girls, Zuniga, Soldiers  
19 'So, corporal: tell me what happened' 0:11
  Zuniga, Don José  
20 'Well, Carmencita: what do you have to say for yourself?' 2:28
  Zuniga, Carmen  
21 'Where are you taking me?' 0:53
  Carmen, Don José  
22 'There's an old bar in the city' (Seguedilla) 4:37
  Carmen, Don José  
23 'Careful, - it's the lieutenant!' 2:08
  Don José, Zuniga, Carmen  
24 Entr'acte 1:42
  Act II  
25 'From far away mysterious sounds' (Gipsy Song) 5:29
  Carmen, Frasquita, Mercédès  
26 'Bravo, bravo! More! Keep dancing!' 0:57
  Zuniga, Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen  
27 'Hurrah! Hurrah! The Torero!' 0:16
  Friends of Escamillo  
28 'Who's that?' 'It's Escamillo, the bullfighter from Granada' 0:12
  Zuniga, Frasquita, Friends of Escamillo  
29 'Hurrah! Hurrah! The Torero!' 0:35
  Zuniga, Officers, Friends of Escamillo, Mercédès, Frasquita, Carmen, Moralès  
30 'You're most kind' (Toreador's aria) 5:10
  Escamillo, Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen, Moralès, Zuniga, Officers, Friends of Escamillo  
31 'We'll come with you, Señor Torero' 1:03
  Zuniga, Escamillo, Friends of Escamillo, Carmen, Frasquita, Mercédès  
32 'Toreador, be ready!' 1:10
  Friends of Escamillo  
33 'At last!' 'We got rid of them as quickly as we could' 0:14
  Remendado, Frasquita, Dancaïre, Mercédès  
34 'There's a little job that we're starting!' 4:50
  Dancaïre, Mercédès, Frasquita, Remendado, Carmen  
35 'Being in love is not a reason' 2:25
  Dancaïre, Carmen, Frasquita, Mercédès, Don José  
36 'To bid you welcome to our bar' 0:38
37 'La la la la la la la la' 2:18
  Carmen, Don José  
38 'Back to camp!. . . Go at once!' 2:35
  Carmen, Don José  
39 'That flow'r you threw to me I treasured' (Flower Song) 3:55
  Don José  
40 'No, it's not love at all!' 4:14
  Carmen, Don José  
41 'Hello! Carmen!' 1:31
  Zuniga, Remendado, Dancaïre, Gipsies, Zuniga, Don José, Frasquita, Mercédès  
42 'Lieutenant fair, it's true' 2:50
  Carmen, Remendado, Dancaïre, Gipsies, Zuniga, Don José, Frasquita, Mercédès  
43 'The sky above the open road' 1:02
  Gipsies, Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen, Don José, Remendado, Dancaïre  
44 Entr'acte 2:38
  Act III  
45 'Keep going, dear old friend, keep going!' 4:25
  Gipsies, Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen, Don José, Remendado, Dancaïre  
46 'Right! Let's stop for a while' 1:03
  Dancaïre, Don José, Carmen  
47 'Shuffle! Cut them!' 4:05
  Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen  
48 'In vain you would avoid the bitter things they're saying' 3:12
  Carmen, Frasquita, Mercédès  
49 'You're back!' 0:35
  Frasquita, Dancaïre, Mercédès, Carmen, Remendado, Don José  
50 'As for that man, it should be easy!' 3:07
  Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen, Gipsies, Remendado, Dancaïre  
51 'Is this the place?' 0:16
  Micaëla, Guide  
52 'I say that there's nothing to fear' 5:15
53 'It's him! I'm sure it's him over there!' 0:16
  Micaëla, Escamillo, Don José  
54 'Escamillo is my name, and I come from Granada' 1:01
  Escamillo, Don José  
55 'She had a lover here' 4:24
  Escamillo, Don José  
56 'Holà! holà! José!' 2:51
  Carmen, Escamillo, Dancaïre  
57 'You should take care, Carmen' 4:00
  Don José, Dancaïre, Gipsies, Remendado, Carmen, Micaëla, Frasquita, Carmen  
58 'Alas! José, your mother is ill' 2:04
  Micaëla, Don José, Escamillo  
59 Entr'acte 2:12
  Act IV  
60 'A few cuartos! A few cuartos!' 2:12
  Merchants, Vendors, Zuniga, An Orange Vendor, A Gipsy  
61 'Here they come! Here they come!' 3:46
  Children, Merchants, Vendors, Chorus  
62 'If you love me, Carmen!' 3:24
  Escamillo, Carmen, Cordeliers, Frasquita, Mercédès  
63 'It's you!' 'It's me!' 6:06
  Carmen, Don José  
64 'Viva! Viva! What a corrida!' 3:53
  Crowd, Don José, Carmen  
 Patricia Bardon mezzo-soprano - Carmen
 Mary Plazas soprano - Micaëla
 Mary Hegarty soprano - Frasquita
 Sally Harrison soprano - Mercédès
 Julian Gavin tenor - Don José
 Garry Magee baritone - Escamillo
 Peter Wedd tenor - Dancaïre
 Mark Le Brocq tenor - Remendado
 Nicholas Garrett bass - Zuniga
 Toby Stafford-Allen baritone - Moralès
 Clare McCaldin mezzo-soprano - An Orange Vendor
 Paul Parfitt bass-baritone - A Gipsy
  Officers, Soldiers, Children, Cigarette Girls, Gipsies, Bohemians, Smugglers etc.  
 David Parry
  27-30 August and 2-3 September 2002  

Bizet once wrote in a letter: ‘I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil and the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note’. His opera Carmen wholeheartedly embraces this credo. This hot-blooded tale of erotic obsession shocked its first-night audiences with its low-life theme and violent conclusion. Carmen’s blatant sexuality, her readiness to discard men like picked flowers, and the rowdy women of the chorus who both fight and smoke onstage, were strong fare for the Opera-Comique’s traditionally family atmosphere.

The score has , over the years, been subjected to a number of revisions, which have taken the opera further away from Bizet’s original intentions. It was first performed as an opera comique with dialogue, but for the Viennese premiere it was thought beneficial to have some of the dialogue set as recitative. Bizet’s pupil and colleague Ernest Guiraud undertook the task with sufficient success for this version to be adopted by most of the large non-French opera houses for the next eighty years. In 1964 Fritz Oeser published a so-called complete edition which removed all the recitatives. That version, however, provoked much controversy since it included a quantity of music which Bizet himself had rejected in his own edition of the vocal score.

This recording uses the most recent version of the score, published by Peters Edition. Based on the production Bizet premiered at the Opera-Comique, this version remains true to the composer’s original intentions.

’... produced with imagination and "oomph". Needless to say, the Philharmonic Orchestra plays well.’

Fanfare - July/August 2003

’Patricia Bardon’s ’Habanera’ shimmers with sex...’

BBC Music Magazine - April 2003

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