Selections from "Carmen" (arr. Dunnigan)

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Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (arr. Patrick Dunnigan)

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General Info

Year: 1875 / 2021
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Fanfare and Prologue
2. Entrance and Habanera
3. Entr'acte
4. Les Toréadors
5. Interlude
6. Finale: Gypsy Song


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Georges Bizet was a promising French composer and pianist of the mid-19th century when his career was cut short by premature death at age 36. He is best remembered today for the opera Carmen which is considered his masterwork. Opening in 1875 to tepid reviews, the opera went on to international acclaim, becoming one of the most often performed operas ever written. The vast popularity of Carmen resulted in two orchestral suites of music from the opera created by Bizet’s friend and frequent collaborator, Ernest Guiraud. Music from Carmen has been used, in the modern world, for television, motion pictures, and even commercials. Though perhaps not recognizing the source, most people have heard at least some musical theme from Carmen in their lifetime.

The version crafted by Patrick Dunnigan was developed over a period of time between 1995 and 2020. Dunnigan selected the most recognizable melodies from the massive opera fashioning these into a set of musical vignettes. Of the suite, Dunnigan writes, “Carmen has been a personal favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I think it was actually the live first opera I ever attended. I have drawn inspiration from Bizet’s opera score which is perfectly executed, in my opinion.”

Dunnigan’s setting is not a transcription, per se, of the Guiraud orchestral suites. Instead he has reduced and condensed the massive three-hour-long opera into a ten-minute package of the most familiar melodies. He writes, “I wanted this arrangement to entertain those already familiar with opera, as well as serve as an introduction to the larger work for those unfamiliar with it. If just one young person seeks out the opera as a result of first hearing my adaptation, it will have been worth all the time I put into it.”

- Program Note from Florida State University Wind Ensemble concert program, 6 October 2021


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State Ratings

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  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) - 6 October 2021 *Premiere Performance*

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