“Carmen”

On March 3, 1875, Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” premiered in Paris.  The story is set in Seville, Spain, in the early 19th century, and the protagonist is Carmen, a beautiful, free-spirited gypsy with a fiery temper.  She seduces a naïve soldier, and events soon spiral to ruin them both.  The very popular opera quickly established the stereotype of the hot-tempered Latina femme fatale that still endures in the 21st century (which will hopefully be the last and final century for the persistence of this unfortunate stereotype).