Lavielle will address life of Carmen

Departing from her usual discussion of state budgets, state Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) will reach back to her former calling as a music critic and author to speak on “Carmen, the Seduction of the Century” before the Wilton Kiwanis Club at its luncheon Wednesday, Sept. 18. Ms. Lavielle published a book on Bizet’s Carmen, one of opera’s best-known works, in 1999.

In the mid-1980s, Ms. Lavielle began writing articles on opera for the Wall Street Journal and a few magazines. At the time, she noted that new versions of Carmen were everywhere — on Broadway, in the movies, and at the ballet — supplementing the traditional performances at all the major opera houses. She felt the story of the fiery cigarette factory worker had attained a kind of universality in the century since it was first performed in 1875 and decided to write a book on why that had happened.

Her book was completed in 1985 and published in 1999, a delay that’s part of the story she will cover in her talk to Kiwanis. The book deals up front with the question of what has made the Carmen story so popular over the years and also tells the stories of several of the artists who have been involved with the character over the years.

Wilton Kiwanis, a service club, meets for lunch every Wednesday noon at the Wilton Episcopal Presbyterian Church complex on New Canaan Road. Meetings are open to all. Information: 203-762-9951.