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Georges Bizet

(1838 - 1875)

Bizet was born in Paris, at 28 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne, as Alexandre-Cesar-Leopold Bizet.

Bizet won early success as a composer and as a prodigious pianist.

He was a brilliantly successful student, but his later career was variable and he had great difficulty in developing his own personal style.

He is now best known for his famous opera "Carmen" which was performed shortly before he died in June 1875, due to two heart attacks.

He left a number of unfinished stage works.

In 1857 a setting of the one-act operetta Le Docteur Miracle won him a share in a prize offered by Jacques Offenbach.

He also won the Music Composition scholarship of the Prix de Rome, the conditions of which required him to study in Rome for three years.

There, his talent developed as he wrote such works as the opera Don Procopio.

Apart from this period in Rome, Bizet lived in the Paris area all his life.

Bizet's last opera, "Carmen", is among the most famous of all operas with its realistic Spanish setting and dramatic intensity.

Concert audiences will be familiar with his two concert suites drawn from the opera.

His melodrama "L'Arlesienne", a collaboration with the writer Alphonse Daudet, was coolly received in the theatre. 

The two suites from the work are well known, the second arranged by Bizet's friend Ernest Guiraud.

Bizet's only surviving symphony, written when he was 17, was rediscovered and performed for the first time in 1935.

Popular piano works include the two-piano "Jeux d'enfants" (Children's Games). 




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