Book Chapter

Carmen in the antipodes

Kerry Murphy

Carmen Abroad: Bizet's Opera on the Global Stage | Cambridge University Press | Published : 2020


There were no permanent professional opera companies in Australia in the nineteenth century. However, visits from touring companies were frequent, especially after the Gold Rush, when, as one critic put it, ‘all the glittering operatic repertoire of mid-nineteenth century Europe filled the antipodean air.’ In the period under consideration, there were many productions of Carmen by major touring companies and also by more ad hoc touring artists who joined up with local groups. I have chosen to focus on the four most significant productions of the period. The first production of Carmen was in 1879 by William Saurin Lyster’s opera company. This production established the opera’s popularity in..

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