Lived:1838 – 1875
Mostly in:Paris
Best Known For: Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, Symphony in C
Similar To:Gounod, Meyerbeer, Massenet, Thomas

Georges Bizet packed a great deal of activity into less than 37 years. Yet, while he was one of the most gifted French composers of his generation, success eluded him during his lifetime and his wider fame was posthumous.

Bizet Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875)

Though he was also drawn to instrumental music – witness the highly attractive Symphony in C, dating from his conservatoire years, and the suite Jeux d’Enfants(1871), originally written for piano duet – Bizet concentrated on theatrical success throughout his career. His catalogue of works lists a dozen operas and operettas, some incomplete, some lost, and only five of them performed in his lifetime.

If things did not always go well for the adult Bizet, his childhood and youth could scarcely have gone better. Born in Paris in...