We’ve been doing a little research on Georges Bizet (composer of Carmen) and we have uncovered some absolutely too good to be true tidbits about him… exactly the sort of racy gossip you would expect of the man who composed the world’s most successful opera featuring a decidedly amoral female protagonist.

Some of the tidbits are so unbelievable, in fact, that we’d like to test you to see if you can spot the fiction versus the facts.

Ready to play Two Truths and a Lie: the Classical Edition?

Here we go:

  • Although Bizet’s death certificate claimed his death was by  congestive heart failure, the real reason he died was because he was challenged to a icy swimming duel by the illegitimate son of French composer Charles Valentin-Alkan.
  • When he was 23, Bizet got himself into a bit of a scrape when it was revealed the Bizet family maid was with child. The family tried to claim that the father was George’s dad, Adolphe, but later it was discovered that it was really little Georgie who did the deed.
  • The Opera Comique (where Carmen debuted) were horrified by what a “debauched” character Carmen was. The Opera’s box seats were often used by prospective parents to interview their future daughters-in-law and it was thought that racy, fiery, definitely not ladylike Carmen would give these young women the wrong idea.

What do you think the real story is? Identify the lie correctly in the comments below and you’ll be entered to win tickets to Petrouchka/Carmen!

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