Georges Bizet: a profile

Updated: May 16


Bizet managed to accomplish a lot in a short time.

Born 1838 / Died 1875

He joined the Paris Conservatoire when he was just 9 years old and won many major prizes in piano, organ and composition.


In 1857 he won the highly coveted Prix de Rome which set him on the path towards notoriety and success. His first opera Les Pêcheurs des Perles (The Pearl Fishers) was a huge success despite its questionable libretto - its writers referred to it as a ‘white elephant’!


However, Bizet’s greatest success came with Carmen which was as much of a hit when it was written as it still is today, in fact Wagner wrote of it ‘Here thank God…is someone with ideas in his head’. Bizet sadly died of a heart attack one year after he completed Carmen.

Verdi and Opera on Location

Carmen (August 2017) | Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield – see more