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First Broadcast Performance of a new Concert Version of Bizet's Opera
Selected and Adapted by W. McNaught. Translation by Lucia Young. Published by Novello & Co., Ltd.
Performed by The Portsmouth North End Choral Society
Relayed from the Town Hall, Portsmouth
Hon. Conductor, ERNEST BIRCH
ORCHESTRA of 40. CHORUS of 140
Chorus, 'From Our Places'
Chorus, 'When the Guard Comes'
Chorus, 'Now the Clock Has Struck'
Introduction and Habanera (Carmen and Chorus)
Duet (Micaela and Don Jose), 'Give Me News of My Mother'.
Gipsy Song (Carmen and Chorus), 'Till Tambourine and Gay Guitar'
Duet, (Carmen and Don Jose), 'Now I Will Dance'
Chorus, 'Beware! Beware!'
Solo (Carmen) and Chorus, 'The Card Song'
Air (Micaela). 'Yes, This Must Be the Place' Scene (Principals and Chorus)
Solo (Escamillo) and Chorus, 'The Toreador's Song'
During the Interval, there will be a Poetry Reading from the Studio by Miss Beryl Ede.

SCARCELY any Opera is better stocked with good tunes than Carmen, written by the Parisian, Bizet (1838-1875), less than a year before he died. Although the dramatic thread of the music and of the action is continuous throughout the Opera, the music is very largely broken up into separate numbers, each self-contained, with a definite beginning and ending. For this reason the music is well adapted for performance away from the stage. About half of it appears in the present performance, which will concentrate the best parts of the Opera into little more than an hour's music.
The plot can be gathered from the following synopsis of the selected pieces and hints as to the omitted portions:-
(1) The Overture, based on a March of bull-fighters in Seville and the well-known Toreador's Song.
(2) A Chorus of Soldiers, on duty in the square at Seville.
(3) A Chorus of Street Boys, mimicking the Guard.
(4) The Soldiers welcome the girls as they come out of a neighbouring cigar factory. The girls sing in chorus that love and smoke are much alike.
(5) Carmen, a beautiful Gipsy, one of the cigar girls, sings the familiar Habanera, much provoking a smart young Brigadier, Don Jose, who is looking on. At the end of it she throws him a flower.
(6) Don Jose (Tenor) is, for the moment, smitten by Carmen's witcheries. But there enters Micaela (Soprano), his old village playmate, with a message that his mother is weakening and needs him.
[But presently Carmen is taken into custody for drawing a knife on one of the other girls. Don Jose is set to guard her: but she bewitches him completely this time, and he connives at her escape. For this he is sent to prison.]
(7) In a tavern on the outskirts of Seville, the meeting-place of a band of smugglers. Carmen and her associates sing a Gipsy Song.
(8) Don Jose, after his month in prison, comes to meet Carmen. While she is singing to him a distant bugle is heard summoning him back to duty. Carmen tempts him to remain with her, and in the end he yields, a deserter.
(9) A Chorus of Smugglers in their mountain hiding-place.
(10) Smuggler Girls are telling their fortunes by cards. Carmen reads her own and finds death for herself and her lover.
(11) Micaela, who has come in search of Don Jose, sings of her hapless position.
(12) A dramatic episode. Escamillo, a Toreador (Baritone), to whom Carmen's thoughts are turning, finds Don Jose, now a smuggler, on guard. They fight over Carmen, who, incensed with Don Jose and now weary of him, dismisses him for ever. Micaela tells him that his mother is dying. He goes, a lost man.
(13) The Toreador's Song, from an earlier part of the Opera.
[In the end Don Jose, still madly in love with Carmen, kills her during the triumph of her new lover, the Toreador, in the bull-ring.]


Adapted By:
W. McNaught.
Lucia Young.
Elizabeth Mellor
Enid Cruickshank
Frederick Stecer
Topliss Green
Ernest Birch
Miss Beryl Ede

6BM Bournemouth

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This data is drawn from the Radio Times magazine between 1923 and 2009. It shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was subject to change and may not be accurate. More