Composing his first symphony at the age of 17, Georges Bizet (1838-75) seemed destined for a brilliant career. Gaining admittance to the famous Paris Conservatoire before his tenth birthday, he quickly made progress; all too soon he became passionate about all things theatrical. Shortly after the premiere of his operatic masterpieceCarmen, and his premature death, his manuscripts were given away, or lost, and his work generally neglected until well into the 20th century. Now hailed as a genius, Bizet’s newly appreciated catalogue includes operas, symphonic works, and piano solos. Had he lived, he might have revolutionized French opera.