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Remember “The Battle of the Carmens”? One of the leading stories of the ’88 Calgary Olympics. Who was the composer behind the music.

Remember “The Battle of the Carmens”? One of the leading stories of the ’88 Calgary Olympics. Who was the composer behind the music. featured image

Olympic gold medallist Katarina Witt as Carmen

Georges Bizet is most famous for his opera Carmen, the story of the young minx who worked in a cigarette factory who was dangerous with her flirtatious ways and it all came down to a tragic end.

I’m a huge fan of figure skating, and do a lot of armchair judging when competitions are on. The Calgary 1988 was HUGE in figure skating for “The Battle of the Brians” (Boitano and Orser) and “The Battle of the Carmens” (Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas). It was a mixed result for Canada; Brian Orser’s silver medal was to him, a loss of gold; Elizabeth Manley’s silver was a HUGE victory for her. (She actually won the long program, but Witt’s overall score gave her the gold).

Katarina Witt’s Carmen was memorable – her striking outfit and heavy makeup left a strong impression on me (I recall reading an article in which Witt stated she was very nervous and kept re-applying her lipstick). I still remember many of Witt’s dance elements to this day, but thinking it was a tad anti-climactic. After her performance, Elizabeth Manley took to the ice, and blew the roof off the area. I remember screaming and cheering at the TV.

I cannot embed the link due to Olympic restrictions, but if you look for it on YouTube, can find Katarina Witt’s gold medal performance as skated to Bizet’s Carmen.

George Bizet was born October 25, 1838 in Paris, and died June 3, 1875, in Bougival, near Paris.

#ComposerBirthday963

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