Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Bizet

Dr Bob Prescribes Georges Bizet, Carmen

As often happens, the topic of a previous day’s Music History Monday post has become, here, the inspiration for today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes.  As a reminder: yesterday’s Music History Monday – entitled “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” – focused on a pair of Taylor Swift concerts in Seattle that shook the ground beneath the stadium with such violence that it registered as a magnitude 2.3 earthquake. OMG: does that mean that today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes will feature Taylor Swift? No, it does not, for which we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Instead, we’re going to run with the music-and-earthquake connection.  It’s a bit tangential, to be sure, but nevertheless, applicable. Carmen With music by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) and a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée, Carmen opened on March 3, 1875, at the Théâtre national de l’Opéra-Comique in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement. Neither Carmen’s premiere nor the run that followed went well.  Audiences at the “Opéra-Comique” were accustomed to, well, comic French operas. Instead, in Carmen, they witnessed an opera that the critics slammed as “Wagnerian” because – so they wrongly claimed – the voices were subordinated to the orchestra.  Additionally, the audiences at the Opéra-Comique found both of Carmen’s […]

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Dr. Bob Prescribes Carmen

Reruns I don’t know about you, but personally, I have mixed feelings about reruns. On one hand, I will never tire of seeing of watching the original Star Trek, which ran for 79 episodes spread over three seasons, from 1966 to 1969. I have seen every one of those 79 episodes so many times that I can – no exaggeration – speak the dialogue along with the actors. Why my infatuation with this show, and why am I willing to revisit – over and over again – these manyepisodes? Perhaps it’s because I associate the show with my childhood and the “race to the moon” that so galvanized us all in the 1960s; perhaps it’s because the show was then so fabulously camp and today so magnificently retro; whatever: it was a vision of the future with actors and stories of which I never seemed to tire. And yet, on the other hand, I often dislike and avoid reruns. I’m not talking about the life-preserving flight from reruns of such bottom-dwelling shows as The Beverly Hillbillies; Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and Gilligan’s Island, but rather, reruns of stuff I loved the first time around. For example, Garry Trudeau’s editorial comic […]

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