"Carmen": Bizet's One-Opera Hit Parade


THE HIT SINGLE: Carmen's "Habanera"

Though Carmen does boast a seemingly non-stop string of hit tunes, there's one that stands out above the rest: The "Habanera" that introduces the title character (mezzo-soprano Beatrice Uria Monzon) when she makes her seductive entrance early in Act One.  

THE B SIDE: Don José's "Flower Song"

The opera's lovestruck male lead, Don José (tenor Stefano Secco), fares better musically than he does dramatically. In the end, he's both rejected and reviled -- but not before Bizet gives him one of the opera's most purely beautiful numbers, the "Flower Song" in Act Two.