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In 1875, Georges Bizet presented what was to become the most popular opera of all times at the Opera-Comique in Paris. As it is often the case with revolutionary pieces, the premiere of Carmen was a failure. Ten years had to pass for the Habanera or the Toreador Song to become opera hits, after the opera was presented all over the world and came back to France. Tragically, Bizet died three months after the disappointing premiere, convinced that Carmen will never gain the success it deserves.
What fascinates in Carmen is her seduction power over men. The physical freedom of the beautiful gypsy women causes Don Jose's moral downfall and will lead to her death.
Regina Resnik, the great mezzo-soprano, who embodied a legendary Carmen is now taking the part of stage director for a production at the Hamburg State Opera. Christopher Nupen filmed every step of the preparation leading to the premiere of a key version of the opera. A young Plácido Domingo performs one of his signature-role : Don José, which he will also enact in Francesco Rosi's 1984 screen adaptation.