Saturday, November 22, 2008


I found this while sorting though some old papers:
Carmen is a cigar-makeress from a tabago factory who loves with Don Jose of the mounting-guard. Carmen takes a flower from her corsets and lances it to Don Jose. (Duet: `Talk me of my mother').There is a noise inside the tabago factory and the revolting cigar-makeresses bursts into the stage. Carmen is arrested and Don Jose is ordered to mounting-guard her but Carmen subduces him and he lets her escape.

ACT 2 The Tavern. Carmen, Frasquita, Mercedes, Zuniga,Morales. Carmen's Aria ('the sistrums are tinkling') Enter Escamillo, a balls-fighter. Enter two smuglers (Duet: 'We have in mind a business') but Carmen refuses to penetrate because Don Jose has liberated from prison. He just now arrives (Aria: `Slop, here who comes!') but hear are the bugles singing his retreat. Don Jose will leave and draws his sword. Called by Carmen shrieks the two smuglers interfere with her but Don Jose is bound to dessert, he will follow into them. (Final chorus: 'Opening sky wandering life').

AXT 4 a place in Seville. Procession of balls-fighters, the roaring of the balls heard in the arena. Escamillo enters. (Chorus: Toreador, Toreador, All hail the balls of a toreador). Enter Don Jose (Aria: `I do not threaten, I besooch you') but Carmen repels him wants to join with Escamillio now chaired by the crowd. Don Jose stabs her (Aria: `Oh rupture, rupture, you may arrest me, I did kill der') he sings `Oh my beautiful Carmen, my subductive Carmen...'
I thought it would be on the web a zillion times but it would appear not - at least not in this fuller version. My printout is dated 13 Oct 1990 from a posting in where the poster claims that it appeared in the Royal Northern School of Music (sic) magazine ('Music Matters') but wasn't original to there. It claims to have come from 'The Baton' the magazine of the Philatelic Music Circle. I can't find that posting in google's usenet archive, but the preface there claims that it was from the Paris Opera rather than Genoa - generally the claim on the partial postings I've seen. The preface runs:
One of the pleasure of going to the Opera in Paris in the old days was reading - and re-reading the synopses in 'English' which they included in the programmes for the convenience of English visitors. What follows is, I swear, an exact copy of parts of the 'Carmen' synopsis. This they printed, and many others like it, year in, year out.
I'm inclined to say urban legend!

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