Veronica Loves Music

20 Feb 2007

We have exposed Veronica to all kinds of music, but so far the single piece of music that excites her the most is Bizet’s Carmen. She likes this even more than dance music.

We found this out accidentally. We recently watched a biopic about Dorothy Dandridge, and became interested in her film version of Carmen (called Carmen Jones). It’s quite an amazing adaptation. When we put the movie in for the first time and the orchestra began playing the Prelude, Vera went berserk, dancing and waving her arms. She loves most of it, in fact, including the Toreador’s Song and the Habanera.

Carmen Jones is a very clever adaptation; some of the songs are sung in near-literal translation, while some borrow only the melody. Veronica watched Carmen Jones over and over, until we were thoroughly sick of it (although it ends tragically, she probably was not clear on just what was happening, and so the fact that it is a bit of a downer didn’t reduce her enthusiasm for the music). Last weekend I bought her a copy of the 1964 Leontyne Price recording (abridged, on one CD) and she’s been playing that non-stop.

I find it endlessly amazing that a 43-year-old recording of a 132-year-old opera would be the piece of music to fascinate a two-year-old girl. Grace thinks she’s going to be a conductor!

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