Musical (1943)


Musique: Georges Bizet
Paroles: Oscar Hammerstein II
Livret: Oscar Hammerstein II
Production à la création:

Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, dans le Sud des Etats-Unis, au milieu d'un camp militaire, la jolie Carmen Jones aux mœurs légères fait tourner les têtes des soldats, provoquant des rivalités jalouses. Joe se laisse séduire, abandonne sa gentille fiancée pour la sulfureuse Carmen et devient déserteur. Il est mis en prison mais Carmen accepte d'attendre sa sortie pour qu'ils continuent de filer leur parfait amour...


Based on libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, adapted from the story Carmen by Prosper Merimee.


Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Carmen Jones

Interdit en France à sa sortie internationale à cause des héritiers de Bizet,ce chef d'oeuvre a été admiré dans le monde entier, sauf en France.


Version 1

Carmen Jones (1943-12-Broadway Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Broadway Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 02 décembre 1943
Première : jeudi 02 décembre 1943
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Charles Friedman
Chorégraphie : Eugene Loring
Producteur :
Avec : Cindy Lou (Carlotta Franzell), Cindy Lou (Elton J. Warren), Sergeant Brown (Jack Carr), Joe (Luther Saxon), Joe (Napoleon Reed), Carmen (Muriel Smith), Carmen (Muriel Rahn), Drummer (Cosy Cole), Myrt (Jessica Russell), Rum (Edward Lee Tyler)
Commentaires : The budget was $175,000 with a weekly operating cost of approximately $14,000.

Originally, Max Gordon was to produce.
Rehearsals were originally to begin in September 1942. But when work on Oklahoma! took up more of writer Oscar Hammerstein II's time, the production was postponed. Because of the postponement, Max Gordon dropped out as producer. Not long after, Billy Rose came on as producer (Al Jolson was also trying to acquire the show).
Commentaires longs: Auditions were held in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York searching for black performers who could sing the score. Of the 115 performers in the cast, only one had previous Broadway experience.

Muriel Smith, who played Carmen, had been cleaning film for a photographer in Philadelphia when she was cast. Luther Saxon (Joe) had been a checker at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Glenn Bryant (Husky Miller) was a New York policeman on a leave of absence.

Other cast members included a Detroit social worker, a Cleveland housewife, a Los Angeles chauffeur, a Buffalo bellhop, and so on.

Agnes de Mille was announced as choreographer but Eugene Loring eventually took on the job when Ms. de Mille took on One Touch of Venus instead.

Once plans were solidified with Billy Rose as the new producer, rehearsals were announced as beginning on August 15, 1943. However, they did not begin until early October (at the Century Theatre).

There was a shortage of theaters in New York. Carmen Jones was sent on its pre-Broadway tour and remained there until a theatre was available. Rose had hoped that the show would go into New York the week of November 22.

The lack of available theaters didn't both Rose too much. The show played to capacity houses in Philadelphia. After the first week of performances, he sent a telegram to the New York Times, "As of Tuesday, Carmen Jones went clean in a 2,200 seat house that has been dark for several years. Business this week should top $30,000. If you run into Henry Kaiser, try to persuade him to put up a theatre for me on the Hippodrome lot in the next few weeks." (The Hippodrome was a 5000-seat theatre which had housed one of Billy Rose's biggest hits.)

Eventually, the producers of Artists and Models were ordered by theatre owners to transfer their show so that Carmen Jones could go into the Broadway Theatre. Artists and Models, however, closed.

United Artists approached Rose about the screen rights while the show was still in its Philadelphia tryout. UA had wanted to produce a film with an all-white cast in blackface starring Nelson Eddy.

Ticket prices:
Opening night, $1.10 - $6.60
High for week nights and Saturday nights, $4.40 and $5.50 respectively
Top for Wednesday and Saturday matinees, $2.75.

Author's note: "Believing Carmen to be a perfect wedding of story and music, we have adhered, as closely as possible, to its original form. All the melodies – with a very few minor exceptions – are sung in their accustomed order. The small deviations we have made were only those which seemed honestly demanded by a transference of Carmen to a modern American background.

"In our elimination of the recitatif passages, we are not taking as great a liberty as may be supposed. Bizet and his collaborators originally wrote Carmen with spoken dialogue scenes betweeen the airs that were sung. The work was intended for theatres of average size, like the Opera Comique in Paris (where it is played today as a dialogue opera).

"Carmen' was not converted to a 'grand opera' until after Bizet's death. The music set to the dialogue is not his music. It was written by Ernest Guiraud." --Oscar Hammerstein II

Version 2

Carmen Jones (1954-??-Film)

Type de série: Film
Théâtre: *** Film (*** - ***)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : Inconnu
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Otto Preminger
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Avec : Harry Belafonte (Joe), Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones), Pearl Bailey (Frankie), Olga James (Cindy Lou), Joe Adams (Husky Miller), Brock Peters (Sergeant Brown (as Broc Peters)), Roy Glenn (Rum Daniels), Nick Stewart (Dink Franklin), Diahann Carroll (Myrt)

Version 3

Carmen Jones (1991-04-Old Vic-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Old Vic (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 semaine
Nombre : 730 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 08 avril 1991
Première : lundi 08 avril 1991
Dernière : lundi 15 avril 1991
Mise en scène : Simon Callow
Chorégraphie : Stuart Hopps
Producteur :
Avec : Wilhelmina Fernandez/Sharon Benson (Carmen), Damon Evans/Michael Austin (Joe), Gregg Baker (Husky Miller), Karen Parks (Cindy-Lou), Clive Rowe, Llewellyn Rayappen
Commentaires : Using all the music from the opera “Carmen”, Oscar Hammerstein II provided completely new lyrics and a new setting. All the characters are Negro workers in a southern parachute factory during World War II. It is the story of Joe, an army corporal, and his love for the temptress, Carmen Jones, which ends with him stabbing her to death after she leaves him for the boxer, Husky Miller. The show was first produced on Broadway in December 1943 where it ran for 502 performances. This was its British premiere and it received something of a mixed reaction from the critics - mainly feeling the production and staging were a bit unadventurous, although the music and lyrics were much appreciated. However, it ran for one year and nine months and won several awards. During the course of its run the part of Joe was taken over by Gary Wilmot.

Version 4

Carmen Jones (2007-07-Royal Festival Hall-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Royal Festival Hall (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 31 juillet 2007
Première : mardi 31 juillet 2007
Dernière : dimanche 02 septembre 2007
Mise en scène : Jude Kelly
Chorégraphie : Tom Snow
Producteur :
Avec : Tsakane Valentine Maswanganyi (Carmen Jones), Andrew Clarke (Joe), Sherry Boone (Cindy Lou), Rodney Clarke (Husky Miller), Andee-Louise Hypolite (Frankie) , Phillip Browne (Rum), Akiya Henry (Myrt), John Moabi (Dink), Brenda Edwards (Pearl) , Rolan Bell (Morrel), Joe Speare (Sargeant Brown), Joanna Francis (Mrs Higgins), George Daniel Long (Mr Higgins), Josie Benson, Stuart Bowden, Peter Brathwaite, Jina Burrows, Angela Caesar, Ian Carlyle, Darren Charles, Laurence De Maeyer, Leroy Dias Dos Santos, Ramon Diaz Crosdale, Herve Goffings, Celia Grannum, Yolanda Grant-Thompson, Divine Harrison, Welly Locoh Donou, Tania Mathurin, Terel Nugent, Kelechi Sarah Nwanokwu, Ngo Omene-Ngofa, Joanna Riseboro, Tarisha Rommick, AleSandra Seutin, Nadine Smith, Antontio Tengroth, Jordene Thomas, Kenny Thompson.
Commentaires : By placing the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a pit in the middle of the stage, this production obliged the performers to confine the action to a narrow perimeter, restricting the dramatic momentum and creating a musical-concert hybrid – neither a purely concert-version, nor a staged production. However, the quality of the performers more than compensated, and the overall critical verdict was favourable.

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