Friday, August 27, 2010

Opera : Carmen (Act 1 - The Factory)

The factory bell rings and the cigarette girls emerge from the factory, greeted by young men who have gathered to flirt with them. Finally Carmen appears, and all the men ask her when she will love them ...
"Quand je vous aimerai?"
and she replies by singing the famous Habenera with her captivating voice.
"L'amour est un oiseau rebelle ... Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame. He has never known law. If you don't love me I love you, if I love you, you'd best beware!" 
When they plead for her to choose a lover from among them, she throws some cassia from her bodice at Don José, for he was the only man who had ignored her. Insolence, Jose thought. Micaëla turns up, kisses him, and hands him a letter from his mother. José longingly thinks of his home, and read the letter ; the mère desires his return, and a daughter-in-law as well. Micaëla blushes and moves to leave, but Don José declares that he will marry her. After she departs, screams echo from the factory and the women run out in chaos. Don José and Zuniga found the feisty Carmen in a fight with another woman. She had slashed the woman's face. Zuniga arrests her, and asks if she has anything to say, but she replies impudently with a song.
"Tra la la"
José is then instructed to guard her while Zuniga writes out the warrant for prison. To escape, Carmen seduces José with a song about an evening date with her lover who is "only a corporal". José gives in and sets her free. Carmen pushes José to the ground, and escapes. 

[Taken from a site and altered a little]
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