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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2020

Carmen in the Midi amphitheatres: a ‘Taurocomique’ Spectacle


When the open-air theatres in the Midi became involved in operatic performances at the mid-point of the Third Republic, Bizet’s Carmen became – along with Gounod’s Provençal opera Mireille – one of the highpoints of cultural democratisation. The Roman amphitheatres – among them those of Arles and Nîmes as well as others on the Rhône – as well as more modern ones – for example Bayonne and Toulouse – hosted summer festivals including operas. These coincided with the season of Spanish bullfights proliferating under the reign of Napoléeon III, a close friend of Mérimée. From 1899, the managements of four of these venues conceived the idea of incorporating a real bullfight into the fourth act of Carmen whose story incorporates Escamillo’s stardom in the Plaza de toros in Seville. This chapter examines both the production and the reception of these hybrid spectacles.

Dates et versions

hal-03975948 , version 1 (06-02-2023)



Sabine Teulon Lardic. Carmen in the Midi amphitheatres: a ‘Taurocomique’ Spectacle. Richard Langham Smith and Clair Rowden. Carmen Abroad. Bizet’s Opera on the Global Stage, Cambridge University Press, pp.335-349, 2020, 978-1-108-48161-8. ⟨10.1017/9781108674515⟩. ⟨hal-03975948⟩


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