VIDEO: Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak on Carmen

Tenor Roberto Alagna and soprano Aleksandra Kurzak discuss their on- and off-stage romance with host Ailyn Pérez during the Live in HD transmission of "Carmen."

Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera's ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenors Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Omer Meir Wellber and Louis Langrée share conducting duties for Sir Richard Eyre's powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere.

World premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1875. Bizet's masterpiece of the gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules has had an impact far beyond the opera house. The opera's melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining female cultural figure. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere but soon after became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world.

Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was known as a brilliant student and prodigy, but his works only found lasting success after his untimely death-most notably Carmen, which premiered three months before he died. Librettist Henri Meilhac (1831-1897) would subsequently provide the libretto for Massenet's Manon (1884). His collaborator on Carmen was Ludovic Halévy (1834-1908), the nephew of composer Jacques Fromental Halévy (creator of the opera La Juive and Bizet's father-in-law). The libretto is based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870), a French dramatist, historian, and archaeologist.


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