For Georges Bizet, his opera Carmen was just another near miss.
Its premiere in 1875 was riddled with mishaps: an out-of-tune tenor, a mistimed timpani explosion in the middle of a tender love scene, and an audience so disillusioned it abandoned the show. Bizet died three months later.
Carmen may have gone on to conquer the world in the century-and-a-half since then, but to the opera's creator, it was, in his own words, nothing but "a hopeless flop."
The fourth instalment of Classical (De)composition, a video series written by CBC Radio 2's Tom Allen, takes us through the tribulations of the most unpopular popular opera in history. Illustrations by Kevin Sylvester. Watch it below.
Hand-selected opera gems by the most celebrated dramatic tenor in the world, Ben Heppner. The most familiar arias from the most-loved operas of all time along with opera overtures, intermezzi and choruses. Performances combine the great voices of the 20th century with today's rising stars