At my annual piano recital when I was 12 years old, I played a piano transcription of the Habanera from Carmen. I practiced over and over until I could play it with my eyes closed.
I walked onto the stage in a cold sweat, sat down at the keyboard, closed my eyes, and let it flow.
When I opened my eyes, the audience was standing, clapping, shouting “bravo.” I have no recollection of actually playing the piece, only the experience.
As a child, my father, who was stationed with the Army Air Corps in South America during WWII, parked me in front of an RCA Victor record player listening to the 78’s he’d collected from that era of Spanish ballads, flamenco guitar, and Carmen.
This selection is from an absolutely brilliant 1983 film directed and choreographed in the flamenco style by Carlos Saura and María Pagés. The image is grainy, but still powerful. The film was magnificent.
The Habanera from Carmen.
Here is the official movie trailer.