The Toreador’s Song, from Carmen (string quartet)


Title: The Toreador’s Song, from the opera Carmen

Composer: Georges Bizet, arr. David Gable

Instrumentation: Violin 1 ; Violin 2; Viola; Cello

Printout: 8 pages

Note: The Toreador’s Song is perhaps the best-known aria from Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, but more than being a catchy tune, the music imbues Escamillo, the toreador, with a flair for the dramatic and a self-aggrandizing ego. This piece is a must-have for gig musicians and opera lovers.

In this arrangement, Escamillo’s familiar “Toreador, en garde” theme is played first by the viola, then by the violin an octave higher. The audio sample includes the beginning of both the verse and the more familiar refrain.


Choeur des Gamins (Chorus of the Street Children)



Les Dragons d’Alcala

Marche des Contrebandiers (March of the Smugglers)

Prelude to Act I (Entrance of the Toreadors)


Tra-la-la Coupe-moi, brûle-moi


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