The Romantic Composer Georges Bizet Essay Research — страница 2

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evening dinners. Of his experience Bizet said, ?I had a great success, it was the first time since M. Schnetz has been director that a musician has been heard and applauded at the Academie. It is fair to say that there are no pianists in Italy, and if you can play your scales with both hands you are regarded as a great artist.? This is a great example of Bizet?s modesty. Bizet had very positive things to say about his stay in Rome. He loved the Academie and learned to love Italy and its people. He had even hired a tutor to teach him Italian. After attending Villa Medici Bizet considered returning to the Paris Conservatory as an instructor or he thought of becoming a concert pianist. He decided against both and decided to return to Paris to be an operatic composer. While working

on his first opera he supported himself by teaching private piano lessons to students who wanted to learn for social purposes. He arranged many opera scores for piano, and also composed third rate dance scores to make money. His first major opera was La Guzla de l?Emir which was accepted by the Opera-Comique for production but it was never presented. Bizet withdrew it himself because only one work by any composer could be underwritten by a money grant and Bizet thought he could write better. In it?s place he submitted Les Pecheurs des Perles (The Pearl Fishers), which used many of the melodies from La Guzla de l?Emir. This opera was accepted and presented when Bizet was twenty four. It was not a success. It was received poorly by both the public and the press. It was dropped

after only eighteen performances but has since become a permanent repertoire of the Paris Opera-Comique since 1932. His next work was another opera La Jolie Fille de Perth (The Fair Maiden of Perth). While this opera was in rehearsal Bizet announced his engagement to Genevieve Halevy, the daughter of Bizet?s teacher from his days at the Conservatory. This was the only opera Bizet ever wrote that received good reviews on it?s premier performance from both the public and the press. Next he wrote a melodrama, L?Arlesienne (The Girl From Arles). This was his attempt at revitalizing the melodrama form. It?s success was short lived however, but the music was so well liked that Bizet made an orchestral suite from it and it became known as L?Arlesienne Suite #1. Bizet?s next and best

known opera was to be Carmen. This opera was based on a play by Prosoer Merimee. The opera was prepared for the Opera- Comique and in the tradition of that theater included spoken dialogue. The opera was not well received at first but it held the public?s interest. It went on for thirty one performances. The Carmen that we know today has evolved over many years and at the hands of many composers and musicians. For example, the original version included spoken dialogue taken from the original Merimee story. When it was performed just four months after Bizet?s death Ernest Guiraud substituted recitatives for the original spoken dialogue. Because these took longer, many cuts in the original libretto had to be made. Carmen was not a great success until years later when it was

performed in England. There have been rumors surrounding Bizet?s tragically young death. Some say that the unenthusiastic reception of Carmen prompted his early death. The actual cause was throat angina which he had suffered since he was seventeen. These bouts were always followed by emotional crisis leaving Bizet in the state of nervous breakdown. Bizet described his illness in a letter to his friend as, ?colossal angina, imagine a double pedal from A flat to E flat going through your head from ear to ear?. His condition would improve for a few weeks and then would reoccur. Toward the end of his life Bizet was confined to a wheelchair and complained of fits of suffocation. Shortly before Bizet and his family were to move to the small country town of Bougival, he suffered a

severe rheumatic attack, complete with high fever, and total immobility of his arms and legs. Country living seemed to make him well for a time, but his illness finally did him in on June 3,1875, at the age of thirty six. Bizet left behind not only his wife and young son but also left behind a great opera with a timeless story.