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Carmen or Candide?

And aren’t they really pretty much exactly the same, anyway?

Probably a rock concert, anyway.

Like most people or no one, I can not keep Carmen and Candide straight in my head. I frequently think of one when I mean to think of the other and vice versa. No matter how many times I read up on them, I just end up confusing and conflating them and frustrating myself. So I sat down and made this comprehensive list of the salient characteristics of each for future reference and comparison.

  • Carmen is an opera based on a novella of the same name, whereas Candide is an operetta based on a novella of the same name. Both novel and novella were written by a Frenchman, though not the same Frenchman.
  • Carmen is written in the genre of opéra comique, but Candide is a comic operetta.
  • The events of Carmen take place in Europe. The events of Candide also take place in Europe.
  • The events of both Carmen and Candide take place in the past.
  • The music of Carmen took some time to become widely acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration. The music of Candide, however, was immediately a hit.
  • The principal male role in Carmen is intended for a tenor. The principal male role in Candide, by contrast, is meant for a tenor.
  • Carmen has four acts. Candide has two halves.
  • Carmen features the “Toreador Song,” whereas Candide includes a song called “The Ballad of Eldorado.”
  • The chorus of Carmen includes several “young men.” One of the characters of Candide is “The Old Lady.”
  • I have never seen a performance of Carmen or Candide, but I have never listened to a recording of a performance of either one, too.




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Matthew David Brozik

Matthew David Brozik

Novelist. Copywriter. Lawyer. Lone punman. Visit

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