Book Chapter

Flamenco and the ‘Hispanicisation’ of Bizet’s Carmen in the Belle Epoque

Michael Christoforidis, Elizabeth Kertesz

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

Abstract

For over a century, flamenco has been closely associated with productions of Carmen around the world. Bizet’s gypsy protagonist is often depicted as a flamenco performer while it has become commonplace to perceive aspects of flamenco in Bizet’s score. Yet this nexus only developed gradually during the first three decades of the opera’s existence. Bizet was largely unfamiliar with flamenco and composed Carmen while flamenco as we recognise it today was still coalescing in Spain, especially in the flamenco-orientated cafés cantantes of Seville and Madrid. During the Belle Époque the rise of flamenco and its global recognition occurred almost in tandem with Carmen’s establishment in the interna..

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