Carmen Jones [Original Broadway Cast] [Bonus Track]

Carmen Jones [Original Broadway Cast] [Bonus Track]

     
 

Carmen Jones is lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II's restyling of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. Where Bizet and his lyric collaborators Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy took novelist Prosper Mérimée's setting among Spanish gypsies working at a cigarette factory in Seville for their 1875 French opera, Hammerstein put it in a parachute factory in…  See more details below

Overview

Carmen Jones is lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II's restyling of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. Where Bizet and his lyric collaborators Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy took novelist Prosper Mérimée's setting among Spanish gypsies working at a cigarette factory in Seville for their 1875 French opera, Hammerstein put it in a parachute factory in South Carolina in the present day and wrote it for an all-black cast. But the story of love, betrayal, and death remained the same, as did the music, minus a couple of arias and in slightly re-orchestrated form, courtesy of Robert Russell Bennett. Casting was a challenge for two reasons: first, the vocal demands of the score meant that, as with the opera, two casts had to be employed to alternate performances for the eight-times-a-week schedule, and second, in the still racially restricted time, it was hard to find African-Americans with enough voice training. Luther Saxon, who played one of the Joes (aka Don José) and does so on this recording, was working in a naval yard when he was cast; Glenn Bryant, who became Husky Miller (Escamillo), was a New York police officer on leave. But when they all turned up on Broadway on December 2, 1943, the result was a triumph. Carmen was given a new lease on life in a version in which the "Habanera" became "Dat's Love," the "Toreador Song" was "Stan' up and Fight," and the "Chanson Bohémienne" was now "Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum." The show ran 502 performances. It is unfortunate that Decca Records was able to record only one of the two casts, so that, while Muriel Smith's Carmen is impressive, succeeding generations will not be able to compare it with Muriel Rahn's. But this was in the early days of recording Broadway shows, and we can be thankful there is any record of this masterpiece. (The 2003 reissue contains a sticker proclaiming, "First Time on CD," which is not quite true. There was a Japanese CD on MCA, and, in Europe, where the album is out of copyright, Pearl Records released an unauthorized version in 2001. The American reissue contains a performance of "Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum" by Kitty Carlisle with Russ Morgan and His Orchestra as a bonus track.)

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/2003
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0044006678023
catalogNumber:
066780

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cozy Cole   Drums,cast,Soloist
Freddy Randall   cast
Albert Bailey   cast
Bobby Clarke   cast
Bill Dillard   cast
Clarence Jones   cast
Robert Smith   cast
Harold Taylor   cast
Valerie Black   Dancer
Howard Carter   cast
Maithe Marshall   cast
Russ Morgan & His Orchestra   Ensemble
Joe Green's Novelty Orchestra   cast
Lee Allen & His Band   cast
Joseph Littau   Conductor
Andrew Taylor   cast
Frank Green   Dancer
Chris Eddy   Dancer,cast
Dorothy Williams   Dancer
Bobby Woodland   cast
Miriam Burton   cast
Kitty Carlisle Hart   Vocals
Georgetta Willis   cast
Richard Montgomery   cast
Joseph Noble   Dancer
Muriel Smith   Vocals,cast
June Hawkins   Vocals,cast
Carlo Van Putten   cast
Urylee Leonardos   Vocals,cast
Richard James   Dancer
Hubert Dilworth   cast
Bertha Powell   cast
William Jones   cast
Viola Anderson   cast
William Archer   cast
Robert Bailey   cast
Bledger   Dancer
Raymond Brooks   cast
Carmine Brown   cast
Glenn Bryant   Vocals,cast
Sibol Cain   Vocals,cast
Jack Carr   cast
Clarice Crawford   cast
Ruth Crumpton   cast
William Davis   cast
Richard DeVaultier   cast
Edwina Divers   cast
Anne Dixon   cast
George Dosher   cast
Marguerite Duncan   cast
Tony Fleming   Dancer,cast
Posie Flowers   Dancer
Carlotta Franzell   Vocals,cast
Awilda Frasier   cast
Audrey Graham   Dancer
Richard Granady   cast
J. Prioreau Gray   Dancer
Oliver Hamilton   cast
Erona Harris   Dancer
Mabel Hart   Dancer
Hassard Short   Staging
Ethel White   Vocals
Carmen Jones Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Luther Saxon   Vocals
Carmen Jones Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Robert Shaw   Choir Director
Jessica Russell   Vocals
Dick Montgomery   Vocals
Randall Steplight   Vocals

Technical Credits

Robert Russell Bennett   Liner Notes,Orchestral Arrangements
Oscar Hammerstein   Lyricist,Liner Notes,Foreword
Joseph Littau   Orchestra Director
Richard Dombrowski   Reissue Design
Raoul Pene Dubois   Costume Design
Brian Drutman   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Eugene Loring   Choreographer
Charles Friedman   Director
Chris Roberts   Executive Producer

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