At the Opera

Hosted By Sean Bianco

Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”


Saturday, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
on Music Station

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Saturday, January 6, 2018 Permalink

At The Opera, Bizet: Carmen, January 6, 2018


Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences.

Bizet died suddenly after the 33rd performance at the age of 36 unaware that the work would achieve international acclaim within the following ten years. Carmen has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon; the "Habanera" from act 1 and the "Toreador Song" from act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias.

The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen's love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage. The depictions of proletarian life, immorality, and lawlessness, and the tragic death of the main character on stage, broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial.


Carmen – Marilyn Horne

Don Jose – James McCracken

Escamillo – Tom Krause

Micaela – Adriana Maliponte

Metropolitan Opera and the Manhattan Opera Chorus

Leonard Bernstein – Conductor

DG – 1972 studio recording


8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo BUY Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Naxos 8550240
8:17 p.m.
Bizet: Carmen BUY MET Opera; Bernstein, conductor
11:00 p.m.
11:19 p.m.
Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel Evening Prayer Scene BUY ; Jeffrey Tate, conductor
11:30 p.m.
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi, opera: O mio babbino caro BUY London
London/Decca 4758366
11:32 p.m.
Giuseppe Verdi: Otello Excerpts Otellos Death BUY MET Orchestra; various, conductor

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