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Carmen and the Staging of SpainRecasting Bizet's Opera in the Belle Epoque$
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Michael Christoforidis and Elizabeth Kertesz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780195384567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195384567.001.0001

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Gypsy Primitivism and the Rise of Emma Calvé

Gypsy Primitivism and the Rise of Emma Calvé

(p.141) Chapter 5 Gypsy Primitivism and the Rise of Emma Calvé
Carmen and the Staging of Spain

Michael Christoforidis

Oxford University Press

Carmen entered a new phase when its productions began to integrate elements of dramatic trends that came to the fore in the 1890s. Part III, “Authenticating Carmen in the Age of Verismo (1889–1908),” proposes that these changes occurred in tandem with the emergence of new modes of staging Spain, in particular following the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, which featured Spanish gypsies from Granada performing flamenco. Emma Calvé, the great Carmen of the Belle Époque, takes center stage in Chapter 5, and her compelling reinterpretation of Bizet’s protagonist is examined in light of her development of a newly dramatic performance style in Italy and her personal research into Spanish culture (especially fashion and dance). From around 1900 Carmen productions began to reflect an image of Spain that drew on Granada’s unique history and gypsy culture, displacing an earlier emphasis on Seville.

Keywords:   Carmen, Paris, Emma Calvé, Carolina “la Belle” Otero, Carmencita (Dausset), Exposition Universelle, Granada, gypsies, flamenco, music hall

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