Who is the man in the picture below?
Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), birth name Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, "Carmen", which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.
During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious "Prix de Rome" in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist.
Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of his two operas that reached the stage in this time—"Les pêcheurs de perles "("The Pearl Fishers") and "La jolie fille de Perth" ("The Fair Maid of Perth") were immediately successful.
After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss.
Bizet fell ill in May 1875, at the end of the month, he went to his holiday home at Bougival and, feeling a little better, went for a swim in the Seine. On the next day, 1 June, he was afflicted by high fever and pain, which was followed by an apparent heart attack. He seemed temporarily to recover, but in the early hours of 3 June, his wedding anniversary, he suffered a fatal second attack. He was 36 years old.