Carmen: Suite from the Opera

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General Info

Composer: Georges Bizet
Arranger: Scott Weatherson
Publisher: Edition Svitzer
Year of Published: 2016
Difficulty: Intermediate
Duration: 00:15:00
Cost: €45.00


1. Les Toréadors
2. La Garde Montante
3. Habanera
4. Aragonaise
5. Danse Bohème


Player 1: Glockenspiel
Player 2: Xylophone 1
Player 3: Xylophone 2
Player 4: Vibraphone 1
Player 5: Vibraphone 2
Player 6: Marimba 1
Player 7: Marimba 2
Player 8: Marimba 3
Player 9: Tambourine & Triangle & Bass Drum & Hand Cymbals
Player 10: Timpani


This arrangement is subtitled 'Suite from the Opera' as it draws upon material from both orchestral suites and presents the movements as close as possible to the order in which they appear in the opera; the only difference is the placing of the Danse Bohème (Act 2) as the final movement, rather than the Aragonaise (Act 4). The rich melodic material of Bizet's writing provides many solo opportunities for the mallet percussion instruments. As well as the many vocal lines given to each of the instruments, two xylophones play the piccolo duet in La Garde Montante while a marimba plays the trumpet fanfares; the xylophones again share a duet role in the opening of the Danse Bohème.


Scott Weatherson’s arrangement offers five movements from Bizet’s famous opera, including “La Toreadors,” “La Garde Montante,” “Habanera,” “Aragonaise,” and “Danse Boheme.” The material only requires basic two-mallet technique from all of the players, making it accessible to younger musicians. The material is very recognizable, which would make it fun for younger groups who might particularly enjoy the “Habanera” movement. The arrangement is fairly straightforward, with each instrument taking a particular orchestral role. Each movement is marked well concerning phrasing, dynamics, and articulations. The only small issue that may arise in performance is having the ensemble play long held trills together and in time. The trill markings indicate which notes are to be used, allowing for discussion among students of how trills should be executed. Overall, this piece would be effective on a high school percussion ensemble concert or a group of underclassmen college students. Weatherson has offered percussionists a fine arrangement of this classic piece. [1]

Arrangement for Percussion by this Arranger

Carmen: Suite from the Opera
Ma Mère l`Oye
March and Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty
Polovtsian Dances
The Planets (Volume 1)
The Planets (Volume 2)


  1. Percussive Notes, July 2016 Josh Armstrong