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A Love Affair with Opera - Opera Primer

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Photo of Carmen performance
Carmen - Georges Bizet - 1875

When Carmen, a Gypsy factory worker, is arrested for fighting, she convinces her boyfriend Don José, coincidentally the officer in charge of escorting her to prison, to help her escape. He does, and is then arrested for his crime. Months later, after his release, events force José and Carmen to join a band of smugglers. On a high mountain pass the group meets up with Escamillo, Carmen's former lover, who is transporting bulls to Sevilla. In a jealous rage, José storms off, leaving Carmen with her ex. Later, at a bullfight in the city, Carmen enters on Escamillo's arm. Jealous José enters and begs her to start a new life with him. She refuses, and throws to the ground a ring he gave her. In his rage, José stabs and kills Carmen.