The character Escamillo sings the toreador song from Bizet's opera 'Carmen'. The performance is from a grand production on stage in an opera house accompanied by a full orchestra, cast and chorus. The French libretto is translated into English appearing as captions at the bottom of the screen as the character sings the gory story of the bullfight and is joined by the chorus in what is perhaps the most famous of all operatic arias.
This clip could be used as an introduction to the aria and its role within an opera. Students could discuss: What kind of mood does this aria create? What function does it perform within the opera? In what ways does it express the character of the bullfighter through the music, rhythm and lyrics?
Students could compare the styles of opera and musical, considering what features they share. In both cases, the class could discuss musical clichés that may be used to signal if a character is hero or villain.