Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (zhôrzh bēzā´), 1838–75, French operatic composer. The son of professional musicians, he entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of nine and won the Prix de Rome in 1857. He was a gifted pianist and composed instrumental music in his teens. Bizet is celebrated for his opera Carmen (1875), based on a story by Mérimée. One of the most popular operas ever written, Carmen has music that is lush, melodic, and brilliantly orchestrated. It unfolds a story of love, hate, jealousy, and murder, set in the exotic world of Spanish Gypsies and bullfighters. Bizet's other works include the operas The Pearlfishers (1863), The Fair Maid of Perth (1867), and Djamileh (1872); Symphony in C Major (1855); and incidental music to Daudet's L'Arlésienne, in the form of two orchestral suites.

See biographies by W. Dean (1950) and M. Curtiss (1958, repr. 1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Letters of Composers: An Anthology, 1603-1945
Gertrude Norman; Gertrude Norman; Miriam Shrifte Lubell; Miriam Lubell Shrifte.
A.A. Knopf, 1946
Librarian’s tip: "Georges Bizet" begins on p. 239
Makers of Opera
Kathleen O'Donnell Hoover.
H. Bittner, 1948
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Bizet"
Romanticism (1830-1890)
Gerald Abraham.
Oxford University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "Bizet's Youthful Work" begins on p. 367 and "Bizet's Style" begins on p. 370
Opera: Desire, Disease, Death
Linda Hutcheon; Michael Hutcheon.
University of Nebraska, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Sex, Smoking, and Violence: Carmen" begins on p. 178
The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers, Growth and Grandeur, 1815-1914
Spire Pitou.
Greenwood Press, vol.1, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "Bizet, Georges" begins on p. 143
Roadside Meetings
Hamlin Garland.
The Macmillan Company, 1930
Librarian’s tip: "Bizet" begins on p. 15
Man and His Music: The Story of Musical Experience in the West
Alec Harman; Anthony Milner; Wilfrid Mellers.
Oxford University Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Georges Bizet begins on p. 775
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