The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part III

    Js headshot 180x180
    26 Jul 2018
    Clock 45min      Length1mi
    5 ratings


    Pay wave

    Coming up on the right is our next host, the last of the Georges.

    Imagine dying just before your name is drawn for the sweepstakes prize. That's essentially how Georges Bizet faded out at 36 years old, never hearing the applause he so deserved.

    Eeking out a living from giving piano lessons, none of his operas were well-received, least of which his latest, premiering in 1875, which didn't manage to sustain the audience who left before the end. Today it's known as the most popular of all: Carmen.

    The music is innovative and lively. The lead character is a strong-willed woman, with a fiery independence never before represented so virulently on the stage. The lyrics are passionate, sung with allusions and sexual desire. Folks couldn't handle it.

    Neither could Bizet's body, overworked from pouring himself into the 1200 partition pages, teaching during the day and participating in the production at night. While attending yet another poorly received performance, at the moment Carmen turns over the tarot card of 'death,' Bizet has a heart attack. Days later at his home in Bougival, he has a second attack, and dies. The architect of the Garnier opera palace decorated this tomb, whose bust was stolen. On the right side, Bizet's many pieces are listed.

    For her part, Carmen danced on to performances in Vienna, where Brahms and Wagner become huge fans. Played in Russia, Tchaikovsky rightly predicted that Carmen would become the world's most famous opera. The rebel bird flies on to this day, never tamed, obeying only her own law.

    At the end of this tour, I'll tell you how to get to the resting place of Carmen's most beloved interpreter, La Callas.

    Leave Bizet on your right and make an immediate left onto Avenue des Ailantes.

Similar Audio Tours in Paris

by Philippa Campsie in Paris
04 Feb 2015
Hepburn pic 2

Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn

Distance 2mi
Duration 15min
3 ratings

Audrey Hepburn owed her inimitable style to a lifelong love affair with Paris and its designers. She made five films here, starting with Funny Face in 1957. Love in the Afternoon came next, and after that there was Charade, Paris When It Sizzles,... More»

Locicon 7 Place de l...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
30 Apr 2015
Coco chanel tuilleries

Coco Chanel's Paris

Distance 1mi
Duration 30min
8 ratings

Coco Chanel has been the subject of biographies, movies, television programs, and even books like “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman.”

Born Gabrielle Chanel, she defied humble origins to... More»

Locicon Terrasse des...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
29 May 2015

Finding the Lost Generation in Montparnasse

Distance 2mi
Duration 75min
11 ratings

This tour takes you through the haunts of writers and artists in 1920s Paris, including Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hebuterne, Kiki de Montparnasse, the... More»