Vocal score, amazon.co.uk
Carmen, Maria Callas, Nicolai Gedda, Robert Massard, amazon.co.uk
Bizet: Carmen / Prêtre, Cossotto, Domingo, Van Dam, Opera d'Oro, arkivmusic.com
Bizet: Carmen -- film version , Julia Migenes, Plácido Domingo, amazon.co.uk
Carmen was first performed at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875.
"Much controversy has raged over laterproductions of Carmen, particularly those outside France. In most of them the lengthy passages of spoken dialogue, which were an essential feature of the original Opéra-Comique production, were supplanted by recitatives composed to different words by Ernest Guiraud for the first Vienna production in 1875. Undoubtedly these recitatives altered the whole balance of the opera. The spoken dialogue contains many episodes, suppressed in the recitatives, which filled out the plot of the opera and gave life to the minor characters, among them Pastia and the smugglers. On the other hand, the purpose of these recitatives of Guiraud was to convert Carmen into a grand opera, a laudable aim since in its original form, as an opéra-comique, it could only be satisfactorily given at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris which specialized in works consisting of spoken dialogue and music."-- Edward Lockspeiser in booklet accompanying RCA Victor LP album LD/LDS 6164.