George Bizet’s Carmen Premieres in Paris (1875)

Though it is today one of the most popular operas ever written, Carmen was initially met with such scathing reviews that the opera house had to give away tickets to get people to see it. Shortly after its disastrous premiere, its author, Bizet, died of a heart attack and the director of the struggling opera house resigned. Later that year, however, Carmen opened in Vienna to wide acclaim. Why did critics initially hate Bizet’s story of a soldier’s doomed love for a wild Gypsy girl? Discuss
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