Berta offers an analysis of this aria that Anthony has sung, giving a little background, the plot and the translation. Hope you'll enjoy it!


The opera takes place in Seville, around 1820. As the opera opens, it's noon,
and the cigarette-girls pour out of the tobacco factory, adjacent to the town
square. The last to come out is Carmen, a beautiful, amoral Gypsy girl. She
looks around, bored, and sees Don Jose, a Corporal of Dragoons, who,
along with his Captain, is standing around the square. She goes toward
him, and eying him seductively, impulsively tosses him a flower, then
walks away with the other girls. He's flattered that she singled him out,
and picks up the flower. Suddenly, a commotion is heard down the road.
Carmen and another cigarette girl were fighting, and Carmen has wounded
the other girl. The Captain tells Don Jose to arrest Carmen, and take her
off to jail. But she flirts with him, and against his better judgement, he
lets her escape. For this, he is imprisoned.

In the second act, Don Jose has been released from prison, and has a
secret meeting with Carmen. While they are together, they hear the
"retreat" sounded. Meanwhile, the Toreador Escamillo has made
advances toward Carmen, and she rebuffed him. Escamillo and Don
Jose duel, and Escamillo is wounded. Don Jose is certain he will now
be thought of as a deserter, so he is forced to go with Carmen and the
other Gypsies, who are smugglers. Carmen doesn't believe Don Jose
really loves her, and makes fun of him, when the retreat is sounded.
She says she is tired of him. He reaches into his uniform, and takes
out the flower she threw him that first day, and sings the famous "Flower Song."

La fleur que tu m'avais jetee, ********** The flower that you threw to me

Dans ma prison, m'etait restee ********** Stayed with me, in prison.

Fletrie et seche, cette fleur ********** Faded and dried, this flower

Gardait toujours sa douce odeur ********** Kept its sweet fragrance.

Et pendant des heures entieres ********** And during all those hours,

Sur mes yeux, fermant mes paupieres *** When I closed my eyelids,

De cette odeur, je m'enivrais ********** I was intoxicated by the scent

Et dans la nuit, je te voyais ********** And in the night, I would see you.

Je me prenais a te maudire ********* I would try to curse you

A te detester, a me dire ********* To detest you, to say to myself

Pourquoi faut-il que le destin ********* Why did fate

L'ait mise la, sur mon chemin? ********* Put you here, in my path?

Puis je m'accusais de blaspheme ********* I accused myself of blasphemy

Et je ne sentais en moi-meme ******** I only felt in myself.....

Je ne sentais qu'un seul desir ******** I felt only one desire,

Un seul desir, un seul espoir ******** One single desire, one hope

Tr revoir, O Carmen, oui, te revoir! ******** To see you again, Carmen, yes,

to see you again!

Car tu n'avais eu qu'a paraitre ********* You only seemed

Qu'a jeter un regard sur moi ********* To pay attention to me

Pour t'emparer de tout mon etre ********* In order to possess my whole being

O ma Carmen, ********* Oh, my Carmen

Et j'etais une chose a toi! ********* I was just a trifle to you!

Carmen, je t'aime. ******** Carmen, I love you.

Berta Calechman

French translation copywrite Berta Calechman, 2009