Seville is one of Spain´s art hubs so there is no shock that it´s a city of inspiration and has arguably influenced the most Bel canto. Over 100 notable Operas are either set in or been influenced by Seville, including the five great operas: Don Giovanni, Carmen, Fidelio, The Barber of Seville and The Wedding of Figaro. The mythical nature of the city caused legendary composers such as Mozart and Georges Bizet to feel encharted enough to write an Opera around it. The narrow streets and open plazas create both a musical and romantic state.
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. In the tragic tale, based on French writer Prosper Merimee’s novella, published in 1845, Carmen, the beautiful, passionate and fiercely independent gypsy, seduces a soldier called Don José, leading to his arrest and imprisonment. Carmen is one of the world’s beloved operas, with its vivid colours, dramatic characters, romantic setting, and instantly recognisable arias like “Habanera” and “Toreador”. The tale of the Spanish gypsy girl from sensuous southern Spain has delighted audiences from all over the world since 1875.
In the classic tale of passion and betrayal, the gypsy woman of Bizet’s opera is a cigarette girl who works at Seville’s enormous tobacco factory, which now operates as a univeristy, which still exists and is open to the public. This is where Carmen meets the naive soldier Don José. but Carmen falls for the glamour of Escamillo, the bullfighter. The cigarette girls of Seville´s tobacco factory are depicted in Gonzalo Bilbao’s famous painting Las Cigarreras.
´Les Cigarreras´ by Gonzalo Bilbao
‘By Zubair Adil’
Carmen meets Escamillo in the Lilas Pastia’s tavern on Calle Maria de Padilla, the street which runs along the side of the Old Tobacco building.There is a plaque identifying what is supposed to be the site of this tavern. Lilas Pastia’s tavern was originally in Triana on the other side of the river in Seville. The tragic ending is taken place at the Plaza de toros de Sevilla, Seville´s bullring. One of the most notable and historically rich bullrings in all of Spain. This is where Don Jose proclaims his love to Carmen, begging her to come back. Spoiler Alert, this is where Don Jose stabs Carmen after becoming obsessed with her. So take a relaxing trip to the beatiful city of Seville, walk in Carmens footsteps and maybe even catch a live performance at the Sevilla Opera House. Voyager will make your trip to Sevilla even more magical with official tour guides for the city who have unparalleled knowledge. We can´t wait to see you!