Stromae's New 'Carmen' Slashes Hashtag Culture

April 1, 2015 4:30 PM

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The international megastar Stromae has a seemingly boundless love of music across genres. And if his tune "Carmen" seems vaguely familiar, it's because the track is a reworking of an operatic classic, the "Habanera" from Bizet's opera Carmen. "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle que nul ne peut apprivoiser," the seductive Carmen sings: "Love is a wild bird that no one can tame."

What the Belgian artist does with Carmen's metaphor is to twist it, with new lyrics, into a piercing commentary on one of the biggest forces in contemporary life. In Stromae's hands, Carmen's bird morphs into an all-too-familiar blue bird that grows bigger and bigger and all the more menacing, final...

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