George Bizet






georges bizet carmen

If in France in 1850 they had put ugly pictures on cigarette packs 🚭, perhaps Georges Bizet would have quit smoking and wouldn’t have died at 36, without knowing the immense success of one of the best operas in history, “Carmen. Still, Bizet had time to transform the opera.


Georges Bizet Habanera

Listen to this recording of Maria Callas in 1962 with the Paris National Opera Orchestra, conducted by Georges Prêtre, singing Habanera from Bizet’s Opera Carmen. It’s pure class.  


Georges Bizet Je crois entendre encore

George Bizet best aria from The Pearl Fishers, “I believe I hear it yet”. Straight to the heart.


Georges Bizet Piano Works (by Nathanael Gouin)

The young talented French pianist Nathanael Gouin released in 2020 his album “Bizet Sans Paroles (Bizet Without Words)”. Bizet’s work is very much alive.

Georges Bizet Trembol Card

  •  🗿 Name: Alexandre-César-Léopold Bizet (baptized as Georges Bizet)
  • 🎂 Dates: Was born on October 25, 1838 in Paris. Died on June 3, 1875 (he was 36 years old)
  • 👫 Genres: Classical Music: Opera, Symphonic and Romantic Music.
  • Mentor: His main inspiration and tutor was Charles Gounod.
  • 💿 Works: 64 compositions, even though he lived short time!
  • 🕴 Disciples: Although he taught piano, he did not have a school of its own or composers to call his disciples as such.
  • 🔗
  • 🗣 Social Media: Can you imagine he had 😉?

I suffered like a dog

Georges Bizet, due to the sore throat that he suffered all his life as a heavy smoker

bizet life and works

Georges Bizet

Bizet Carmen Habanera

Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet life and works | Carmen, The Pearl Fishers…

Carmen Georges Bizet

Bizet, who was born in France in 1838, was lucky that his mother was a pianist and his father a singing teacher, so he was raised surrounded by music.

  • He was the youngest child accepted into the Conservatory (9 years old).
  • Even though he was a virtuoso piano player 🎹, he never practiced as such.

Georges Bizet Simphony in C Major. I. Allegro Vivo

1855. First opera at the age of 17, Symphony in C major

  • They said it was a copy of “Symphony in D” by his mentor Charles Gounod.

1857. Bizet composes music for Clovis et Clotilde receiving a 5-year scholarship for it.

Georges Bizet Clovis et Clotilde. Introduction

1858. Te Deum (You Gods)

  • First and last religious work that Bizet wrote. He presented it for an award, lost and got angry.

Georges Bizet Te Deum (You Gods)

Scholarship Works. As part of his scholarship he had to send 5 compositions (he only did 4)

  1. Opera buffa setting of Don Procopio libretto.
  2. Symphonic poem Vasco de Gama.
  3. Orchestral works “La Chasse d’Ossian (The Hunt of Ossian)”, a scherzo (fast move played in a non-formal way) and a funeral march.
  4. A one-act opera, “La guzla de l’émir

Georges Bizet Vasco de Gama

1863. Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) commended from Count Walewski

  • A three-act opera that includes Bizet’s most thrilling aria, Je crois entendre encore (I believe I hear it yet)
  • It wasn’t a success, and it was only performed 18 times.
  • The opera is extremely popular today for the duet “Au fond du Temple Saint (In the Sacred Temple)”.

Georges Bizet Les Pêchers de Perles (Au fond du Temple Saint)

  • He spent a period of time arranging works by other composers to earn some money 💴
bizet life and works

Henri Meyer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

1865. Ivan IV opera, based on the life of Ivan the Terrible

  • It was not performed until long after his death (1946)

1866. La Jolie Fille de Perth (The beautiful girl from Perth) opera. The press of the time praised it:

A masterpiece from beginning to end

Georges Bizet La Jolie Fille de Perth (Sérénade)

1866. La coupe du roi de Thulé (The Cup of the king of Thule).

  • Only parts of this opera, which anticipates Carmen, are preserved.

Georges Bizet La Coupe du Roi de Thulé (Prelude)

1868. He finishes the Roma Symphony, which Bizet started when he studied his scholarship in Rome.

Georges Bizet Djamileh

  • War breaks out between France and the Kingdom of Prussia in 1870:
    • Bizet enlists, but the French Empire soon falls.
    • The Prussian army occupies Paris until 1871.
  • 1871 Bizet returns to business and composes the duo “Jeux d’enfants (Children’s Play)” and the opera “Djamileh”.

1872. He is commissioned to compose the music for the play L’Arlésienne

  • It was considered overly complex for the general public, unbelievable! 😱

1875. Bizet begins to compose “Don Rodrigo”, but the Paris Opera burns and he doesn’t finish it.

Georges Bizet L’Arlésienne (Suite No1 – Minuetto)

Georges Bizet Carmen

Georges Bizet Carmen (Les Toreadors – Toreador)

1873. Bizet begins the music for “Carmen” based on a short novel by Prosper Mérimée.

  • The Opera-Comique, where it was going to be released, suspends the play because they thought it was a bit risqué.

1874. The co-director of the Opera resigns, and Bizet concludes Carmen, saying:

I have written a work that is all clarity and vivacity, full of colour and melody

Carmen by Bizet

Luc, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Georges Bizet Carmen Opera Synopsis:

  • Placed in Seville in the 19th century, Carmen, a beautiful and temperamental gypsy woman, falls in love with a soldier named don José.
  • Love changes the life of the soldier who mutinies and unites  a band of smugglers.
  • Later, a famous bullfighter named Escamillo falls in love with Carmen, who, tired of don José‘s jealousy, accompanies the bullfighter to his bullfight.
  • There she laughs at don José who, blinded by anger, stabs her to death.

Georges Bizet Carmen (Prelude)

 1875 Carmen is released in the Opéra-Comique in Paris

  • It lasts 4 and half hours and the audience dislike it because of the realism of the work.
  • This work would be a precursor of verismo school, a movement that reflects life as it is.
  • It would lead to the unification of the Opera (serious and heroic) and the Opéra-Comique (lighter and with dialogue).

Georges Bizet Carmen (Habanera – L’amour est un oiseau rebelle)

3 months later Georges Bizet dies of a heart attack

  • He died without knowing that he had composed the most famous French Opera in history 🎉
Carmen Bizet habanera

Performance of the opera by the Antonio Gades Dance Company in 2008 (Efloch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The combination of memorable music, a story of drama, and the vivid setting have made of Carmen one of the greatest operas of all time.

Georges Bizet and his work are more alive than ever.

If you want to keep on enjoying Bizet’s muic, here is a playlist with the best Georges Bizet compositions

🤔 Google most searched questions about Georges Bizet

Who is Georges Bizet?

In a nutshell, Georges Bizet is a French composer from the 19th century, whose most famouse Opera is Carmen.

These are some of the related questions that people search:

  • How did Bizet die? He had a short life, dying at the age of 36, due to a heart attach caused by an articular rheumatism.
  • When was George Bizet birth and death? He was born on October 25th, 1838, in Rue Louise-Émilie-de-La-Tour-d’Auvergne, France. He was a great pianist, although the devoted most of his time to composition. He suffered all his life from some kind of sore throat and was depressed many time, most likely because he didn’t reach the success he deservel. George Bizet death happened on June, 3rd, 1875.
  • What is Bizet’s name? His complete name is Alexandre-César-Léopold Bizet.

Which are George Bizet works?

Bizet composed 15 Operas (not all them finished), 9 orchestral works (some for choirs) and more than 20 piano compositions.

Some have certain success at the time Djamileh and L’Arlesienne, and some are incomplete like Clarissa Harlowe and Grisélidis.

You can find Bizet Operas list in Wikipedia.

georges bizet carmen
georges bizet carmen

I always talk, it’s your turn 🙂


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