Carmen Fantasy by F. Borne
Performed by Katelyn Kaiser (flute) and Yoonsook Song (piano) at Ohio University on October 20, 2012.
Francois Borne (1862-1929) was a French flutist who performed with the "Le Grand Theatre de Bordeaux" (Bordeaux Opera House) orchestra. He also taught at the "Conservatorie de Musique de Toulous" (High School for Music in Toulouse) as well as being recognized for making several technical improvements to the flute. Borne wrote Carmen Fantaisie in 1880 and it is a staple in the romantic flute repertoire.
Carmen Fantaisie is an adaptation of the famous Bizet opera, Carmen, which was first performed in Paris on March 3, 1875. Carmen tells the story of the ruin of Don José, a soldier who is seduced by a fiery gypsy named Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and leaves his military duties, but is devastated when he loses Carmen's love to Escamillo, a glamorous toreador. His jealousy consumes him and he kills Carmen is a jealous rage.
Carmen broke new ground in French opera and was a highly controversial opera. Prior to it, operas featured light-hearted endings and funny characters. The reviews were mostly critical at its premiere, though it acquired celebrity status after its revival in 1883.