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Charles Foster
Charles Foster

Carmen - Vocal Score (French And English): Schirmer Edition, 1895: A Masterpiece of Opera in Pdf Format

Carmen - Vocal Score (French And English): Schirmer Edition, 1895 Download Pdf

If you are a fan of opera, you have probably heard of Carmen, one of the most popular and influential works in the genre. But did you know that you can download a pdf version of the vocal score of this masterpiece, with both French and English lyrics, from the Schirmer Edition of 1895? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this amazing resource, including its history, content, and how to use it. Whether you are a singer, a student, or a lover of music, you will find this article useful and interesting.

Carmen - Vocal Score (French And English): Schirmer Edition, 1895 Download Pdf


What is Carmen and why is it famous?

Carmen is an opera in four acts by the French composer Georges Bizet, based on a novella of the same name by Prosper Mérimée. It tells the story of a passionate and tragic love affair between a soldier named Don José and a gypsy girl named Carmen, who seduces him and leads him to desert his duty, join a band of smugglers, and eventually kill her in a fit of jealousy. The opera is famous for its exotic setting in Spain, its colorful characters, its catchy melodies, and its dramatic plot. It is also considered one of the first examples of realism in opera, as it depicts the harsh realities of life and death among the lower classes.

What is a vocal score and how is it different from a full score?

A vocal score is a musical notation that shows the vocal parts (soloists and chorus) of an opera or a musical, along with a piano reduction of the orchestral accompaniment. It is usually used for rehearsal purposes by singers and pianists, or for study purposes by students and scholars. A full score, on the other hand, shows all the instrumental parts of an opera or a musical, as well as the vocal parts. It is usually used for performance purposes by conductors and orchestras.

What is the Schirmer Edition and why is it important?

The Schirmer Edition is a series of musical publications by G. Schirmer Inc., one of the oldest and most respected music publishers in America. Founded in 1861 by Gustav Schirmer Sr., the company has published thousands of works by classical composers from Bach to Stravinsky, as well as contemporary composers from Bernstein to Glass. The Schirmer Edition of Carmen is important because it is one of the earliest and most authoritative editions of the opera, based on the original manuscripts and sources. It also includes the recitatives by Ernest Guiraud, who replaced the spoken dialogue of the original version with sung verses, making the opera more suitable for international audiences.

The History of Carmen

The original novella by Prosper Mérimée

The story of Carmen was first written by Prosper Mérimée, a French writer and historian, who published it as a novella in 1845. Mérimée was inspired by a real-life gypsy woman he met in Spain, as well as by various legends and anecdotes he heard or read about. He also incorporated some elements of his own personal experiences and interests, such as his fascination with Spanish culture, his knowledge of archaeology, and his involvement in a love triangle. The novella was a success and was translated into several languages, including English.

The adaptation by Georges Bizet and his librettists

The idea of adapting Mérimée's novella into an opera was proposed by Camille du Locle, the director of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, who commissioned Georges Bizet to compose the music in 1872. Bizet collaborated with two librettists, Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, who wrote the French lyrics based on Mérimée's text. The opera took three years to complete, and faced many challenges and changes along the way, such as censorship issues, casting problems, and revisions of the music and the libretto. The opera was finally premiered on March 3, 1875, at the Opéra-Comique.

The reception and legacy of the opera

The premiere of Carmen was a disaster. The audience and the critics were shocked and scandalized by the opera's unconventional style, its immoral characters, its violent scenes, and its tragic ending. The opera was also overshadowed by the death of Bizet, who suffered a heart attack on June 3, 1875, at the age of 36, just three months after the premiere. However, the opera soon gained popularity and recognition in other countries, especially after it was performed in Vienna in 1875, with the endorsement of Johannes Brahms. The opera became one of the most performed and recorded works in the history of opera, and inspired many adaptations and variations in different media, such as ballets, films, musicals, and novels.

The Content of Carmen - Vocal Score (French And English): Schirmer Edition, 1895

The structure and synopsis of the opera

Carmen is divided into four acts, each with several scenes. Here is a brief synopsis of the opera:

  • Act I: In Seville, a group of soldiers and townspeople gather outside a cigarette factory. Among them are Micaëla, a peasant girl who is looking for her fiancé Don José, a corporal; and Morales, another corporal who flirts with her. The factory bell rings and the cigarette girls come out, including Carmen, a beautiful and provocative gypsy. She sings the famous "Habanera", expressing her free-spirited attitude towards love. She notices Don José and throws him a flower, which he keeps. Micaëla returns with a letter from Don José's mother, who asks him to marry her. He agrees, but is soon distracted by Carmen again. A fight breaks out between Carmen and another girl in the factory, and Don José is ordered to arrest her. However, he falls under her spell and lets her escape.

the Schirmer Edition is and why it is important; and how to download and use the pdf version of the vocal score. We have also shared some of the musical highlights and features of the score, such as the Spanish musical elements, the leitmotifs, the orchestral colors and effects, and the different vocal forms and styles.

A call to action for the readers

Now that you have learned all about Carmen - Vocal Score (French And English): Schirmer Edition, 1895 Download Pdf, we invite you to download it and enjoy it for yourself. Whether you want to sing along with Carmen's "Habanera", play along with Escamillo's "Toreador Song", or follow along with the plot and the music, you will find this pdf version a valuable and convenient resource. You will also discover why Carmen is one of the most beloved and celebrated operas of all time.

Five unique FAQs after the conclusion

Q: Where can I find a recording or a video of Carmen?

  • A: There are many recordings and videos of Carmen available online or in stores. Some of the most famous ones are: the 1964 recording with Maria Callas and Nicolai Gedda; the 1978 film with Plácido Domingo and Julia Migenes; the 1984 recording with Agnes Baltsa and José Carreras; and the 2009 film with Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca.

Q: Who are some of the most famous singers who have performed the role of Carmen?

  • A: The role of Carmen is one of the most challenging and rewarding roles for a mezzo-soprano or a soprano. Some of the most famous singers who have performed it are: Célestine Galli-Marié (the original Carmen); Emma Calvé; Geraldine Farrar; Conchita Supervía; Risë Stevens; Marilyn Horne; Teresa Berganza; Shirley Verrett; Grace Bumbry; Tatiana Troyanos; Elena Obraztsova; Jennifer Larmore; Denyce Graves; Anne Sofie von Otter; Olga Borodina; Elīna Garanča; Anita Rachvelishvili; and Clémentine Margaine.

Q: What are some of the differences between Mérimée's novella and Bizet's opera?

  • A: There are many differences between Mérimée's novella and Bizet's opera, such as: Mérimée's novella is narrated by an unnamed traveler who meets Don José and Carmen in Spain, while Bizet's opera has no narrator and focuses on the main characters; Mérimée's novella has more characters and scenes than Bizet's opera, such as Carmen's husband García, Don José's rival Lucas, and a scene in a gypsy camp; Mérimée's novella has a darker tone and a more complex psychology than Bizet's opera, which is more colorful and romantic.

Q: What are some of the themes and messages of Carmen?

  • A: Some of the themes and messages of Carmen are: love versus duty, freedom versus fate, passion versus reason, individuality versus society, exoticism versus realism, and life versus death.

Q: What are some of the other adaptations and variations of Carmen?

  • A: Some of the other adaptations and variations of Carmen are: Carmen Jones, a 1943 musical by Oscar Hammerstein II that transposes the story to an African-American setting in World War II America; The Wild Rose, a 1952 Chinese film by Wu Yonggang that transposes the story to a Shanghai cabaret in the 1930s; Carmen: A Hip Hopera, a 2001 TV film by Robert Townsend that transposes the story to a contemporary urban setting in America; and Carmen, a 2003 ballet by Roland Petit that follows the original story but adds some new choreography and music.



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