Composer: GEORGES BIZET | Illustrator: GABRIEL PACHECO | Adaptation: TERESA LLORET
“In the beautiful, merry city of Seville, where people always seem to take delight in life and are constantly ready for amusement and fun, a sad and dreadful event occurred many years ago. A lovely young gypsy girl named Carmen, a fickle seductress, was stabbed to death by a jealous soldier from Navarre, Don José, who loved her to distraction and had deserted his regiment to be with her.”
Carmen is a new illustrated opera intended to open the world of opera to very young children (to enjoy with the rest of the family or at school), but also older youngsters. This story of love and indifference involving the beautiful Carmen and Don José exudes passion and jealousy. Don José is carried away by Carmen’s beauty and force of personality, to the extent that he becomes a deserter and a smuggler. Carmen is free and without moral scruples, and if she is forced to choose between death or life under subjugation to others, she would rather die rather than lose her freedom. The folly to which love can drive us has been a source of inspiration for many artists, and Carmen is the archetypal femme fatale that has been re-interpreted so often in different traditions throughout history.
Prosper Merimée wrote this tale of the beautiful cigarette factory girl and the honourable soldier in 1847, influenced by the stereotypical vision of Spain held by the Romantic travellers who were at that time discovering the country, in particular the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Years later, Georges Bizet composed Carmen, an opera comique in French, to a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. Subsequent adaptations in literature, drama, musicals and film have made this work a legend that expresses to perfection the fatal nature of passionate desire and the self-destructive urges it kindles.
Gabriel Pacheco’s illustrations distil the force, sensuality and pace that the opera Carmen, the character herself and Bizet’s music call for. Pacheco uses the symbols to create a visual poem that offers a number of readings. The colour red, which predominates throughout the book, evokes passion and love, but also blood and death. Teresa Lloret, an authority on the world of opera, succeeds in conveying the emotions and feelings of the work without losing the essence or the power of the original text.
• THEME: The legends of the European Romantic tradition: the femme fatale and the contrast between the exotic or primitive and the civilised or formal
• RECOMMENDED AGE: Nine and over
• DISTINCTIVE: The sensuality, power and poetry of the illustrations
• SKILLS TOPICS: The emotions, feelings of love and madness. Controlling the passions.
• LANGUAGES: Spanish (ISBN 978-84-937469-2-6) and Catalan (ISBN 978-84-937469-1-9)
Format: 25 x 22 cm | Binding: board | Pages: 32 | Price: 24 €