Event—Adult Education

Georges Bizet’s Carmen: Musical, Theatrical, and Social Perspectives

This seminar will explore Georges Bizet's Carmen (1875) from musical, theatrical, and social perspectives...

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $170
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $187

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

This seminar has been cancelled.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

This seminar will explore Georges Bizet's Carmen (1875) from musical, theatrical, and social perspectives, beginning with the opera's commission and its controversial premiére. We will analyze social themes in nineteenth-century Paris and the images of Spanish and Gypsy women that shaped Bizet's infamous femme fatale, and finally, discuss the scores, costumes, and staging used in several productions of this enduring, popular opera. Four sessions.

Brian Oberlander holds a PhD in musicology from Northwestern University. He has offered courses in early music and world music at institutions throughout Chicago. His research has been presented at conferences across the United States.

Materials List


  • Susan McClary, Georges Bizet: Carmen (Cambridge Opera Handbooks). Cambridge University Press, 1992. ISBN#: 978-0521398978.
  • A course pack of additional materials, compiled by the instructor and distributed during the first class, for which there will be a nominal fee due at that time.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.