Opera on 3 - Live from the Met - Bizet's Carmen

Including the Toreador's Song and Habanera, Bizet's Carmen is packed full of some of the best known and instantly hummable tunes in the Classical canon. So it's easy to forget that the score was declared unplayable, and the story too scandalous and debauched for polite society at its 1875 premiere. What upset the prim Parisians was that the cast of low-life characters, including factory workers, gypsies and soldiers, is depicted without rose-tinted romanticism, the slaves of their torrid passions. Jealousy, crime and murder dominate in a Spanish setting that the French preferred to think of as perfumed and exotic. But posterity gave Bizet the last laugh and star singers have always been attracted to the roles, including Latvian mezzo-of-the-moment Elina Garanca in the title role, and the internationally renowned tenor Roberto Alagna as her murderous lover Don José. Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff. Including backstage interviews with artists during the interval. Carmen: Elina Garanca (mezzo-soprano) Don José: Roberto Alagna (tenor) Moralès: Trevor Scheunemann (baritone) Micaëla: Barbara Frittoli (soprano) Escamillo: Teddy Tahu Rhodes (baritone) Dancaire: Earle Patriarco (tenor) Remendado: Keith Jameson (tenor) Zuniga: Keith Miller (bass) Frasquita: Elizabeth Caballero (soprano) Mercédès: Sandra Piques Eddy (soprano) Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor) Orchestra and Chorus of Metropolitan Orchestra.