Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Amazon Prime's "Utopia" Lifts From Bizet's "Carmen" For New Ad

A new television ad for Amazon Prime's new show Utopia features a deconstructed version of Bizet's famous Habanera "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" from Carmen"Utopia is an upcoming American drama web television series adapted by Gillian Flynn from the 2013 British original. It is scheduled to premiere on September 25, 2020, on Prime Video." The plot is as follows: "Utopia is a conspiracy thriller that follows a group of young fans who come together when they discover that the conspiracy in an elusive comic, Utopia, is real. The comic foretells the demise of humanity and the world as we know it, thrusting this group of underdogs to embark on a high-stakes twisted adventure to use what they uncover to save themselves, each other and ultimately humanity." 
"The score of the aria was adapted from the habanera 'El Arreglito ou la Promesse de mariage,' by the Spanish musician Sebastián Iradier, first published in 1863, which Bizet thought to be a folk song. When others told him he had used something written by a composer who had died 10 years earlier, he added a note of its derivation in the first edition of the vocal score which he himself prepared. Although the French libretto of the complete opéra comique was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, the words of the habanera originated from Bizet. The Habanera was first performed by Galli-Marié at the Opéra-Comique on 3 March 1875. Bizet, having removed during rehearsals his first version of Carmen's entrance song, in 3/4 with a refrain in 6/8, rewrote the Habanera several times before he (and Galli-Marié) were satisfied with it. Although Bizet kept the basic layout of the Iradier song, which has each verse in D minor and each refrain in the tonic major, he let go of the long ritornelli and second half material, and by adding chromaticism, variations in the refrain and harmonic interest in the accompaniment, made it a memorable number. The reharmonization, addition of triplets in the vocal line and the flute in its low register add to the effect."

Watch the Amazon commercial and a full clean version of Bizet's famous aria after the jump.