CARMEN, la maison de Georges Bizet

123 %
1,103,375€ Pledged out of 900,000€
Don contre don
607 Donations from 19 countries
Let's save the house of Georges Bizet and create the Carmen space. Let's promote its integration into the future cultural, scientific and touristic pillar of the city of Bougival: the European Centre for Music (Centre Européen de Musique - CEM).


 NB : The total amount of the campaign take into account the 1 million contribution of

We warmly thank the donors from all over the world and the
« DEPARTEMENT DES YVELINES » who allowed us to collect 1,142,077 and reach our first goal : the safeguarding of Bizet's House. This unprecedented project is becoming increasingly important and we are counting on you to continue to be our Ambassadors! 
Our dream becomes true! 

 But it does not stop there! Let’s reach the 2nd and 3rd step. 

 Step 2 of the campaign : 1,460,000€ to restore the house of bizet 

 Step 3 of the campaign : 3,000,000€ to create the ESPACE CARMEN. 




A campaign that boasts Europa Nostra as a patron

Initiated by

About the project

Heritage and cultural treasure of Bougival

The House of Georges Bizet

In which the composer partly composed and fully orchestrated his best known work, Carmen, during the year 1874. First performed in 1875 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, three months before the composer's death, Carmen would become one of the most famous and most often performed operas in the world. 

Georges Bizet's house has been opened occasionally to the public since 2010 and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in an atmosphere from another time, offering real insight into how the composer lived and worked at the height of the Romantic period. 

Bizet was also very close to Pauline Viardot who was his neighbour in Paris and Bougival and who passionately championed the score of Carmen following the composer's death. Like Brahms and, a few years later, Tchaikovsky, Nietzsche, Wagner and Mahler, she helped ensure Carmen was recognised as one of the greatest masterpieces of lyrical art. 

We also owe thanks to the Lemoine-Pellistrandi family for preserving and collating the living memory of Bizet and our gratitude that their deepest wish is that the ECM, through its crowdfunding campaign, should purchase the house and make it a place of remembrance and of the future, a 21st century place of memory and creation.


This is a spot whose magic enchanted Jorge Chaminé, baritone, renowned teacher and founder of Les Amis de Georges Bizet (Friends of Georges Bizet). Starting in 2000, he has organised a series of public master classes at Frênes, where we find the homes of Pauline Viardot and Ivan Turgenev. In 2008 he created a festival and that same year invited the great Spanish mezzo-soprano, Teresa Berganza, to hold annual master classes. These enable young singers, just starting out in their career, to benefit from the teaching of this great lady of opera. La Berganza, an unparalleled expert of Mozart and Rossini, also played the title role in Carmen in the 1980s in a legendary performance alongside Plácido Domingo, conducted by Claudio Abbado.

Villa Viardot

Home of Pauline Viardot (1821-1910), celebrated opera singer, especially renowned for her performances in operas by Rossini, Berlioz, Meyerbeer and Gounod, sister of Maria Malibran and a major figure in the cultural scene of the time. A highly charismatic character, Pauline Viardot lived through the 19th century (she knew both Da Ponte - Mozart's librettist - and Stravinsky!) and enjoyed an illustrious career worldwide. 

A literary and cultured woman, she was a talented composer whose salons at her homes in Paris, Bougival and Baden-Baden were so much in vogue they drew artists and intellectuals from all over Europe. A friend of Liszt, George Sand and Turgenev among others, she regularly stayed at Bougival, in this delightful folly in the Directoire style, built in 1830.

The Datcha of Tourgueniev

The Russian writer, enamoured with Pauline Viardot and a friend of her and her husband, had this dacha built in 1874 and in it he received Flaubert, Hugo, Maupassant and Zola. He wrote some of his best-known work here and died here in Pauline Viardot's arms in 1883. 

The dacha was converted into a museum to Turgenev in 1983 and this secluded spot is still furnished as it was during his time thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Tamara and Alexandre Zviguilsky, great Turgenev experts and founder of the Friends of Ivan Turgenev Association (ATVM).

The house of Berthe Morisot

Where the artist spent much time and lived during the 1880s. Here she painted her major works: The Fable, Eugène Manet and His Daughter in the Garden, On the Veranda and The Garden at Bougival, thus immortalising Bougival which became one of the iconic spots of Impressionist painting and is depicted in numerous works.

CEM Project (European Center of Music)

Forming part of grounds specially reconfigured for them, the houses of Georges Bizet, Pauline Viardot, Ivan Turgenev and Berthe Morisot will be the mainstays of Bougival's new cultural zone: The European Centre of Music (ECM), a living, modern and forward-looking place conveying the emblematic, humanist values of European culture.

Rooted in one of the most fertile periods in the history of art, the ECM will be both a heritage site celebrating the artists of the Romantic period and also a music academy welcoming young artistes in training. It will provide a bridge between the 19th and 21st centuries.

As well as scheduling high level events, its goal, from its inauguration, will be to establish itself as a transversal site of reference and of music studies that is also open to other disciplines such as literature, visual arts, history, philosophy and theatre.

This will be a place where knowledge is passed on, a residence where people can stay and interact. It also aims to become a centre for research into neuro sciences and, in particular, the links between music and the brain. As such, it aims to invite regularly neuro scientists, especially those working on the powerful motor role that music can play in the assimilation of general knowledge and in the treatment of certain pathologies such as autism. So the creation of a "Music and Brain" research laboratory will be one of the ECM's major goals.

This project has backing and patronage.

Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra works to save monuments, sites and landscapes in danger throughout Europe. It honours excellence through the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards. It also contributes to the drawing up and rolling out of heritage-linked European political strategies.

Project Stakeholder

The birth of the Bougival project and the EMC

Les Amis de Georges Bizet and CEM

Jorge Chaminé, President of the EMC is at the origins of the project.

In 2000, Jorge Chaminé discovered the Frênes property at Bougival which was bought by Pauline Viardot and Ivan Turgenev in 1874. He was fascinated by the beauty of the spot and became convinced of its importance in 19th century European art, from the Urals (Ivan Turgenev) to Spain (Pauline Viardot-Garcia). From that moment on he was certain it was worthy of a Great European Project.

That same year, Jorge Chaminé founded his Les Amis de Georges Bizet association.

Jean Lacouture became its President. This great writer loved opera. But it was only in 2000 that, thanks to Jorge Chaminé, he realised that, like so many others, while he knew the score of Carmen by heart, he knew nothing of the tragedy that occurred in Bougival in 1875, with the death at the age of 36 of Bizet, exhausted and disheartened by the lack of success of his work. Jean Lacouture instantly succumbed to the charms of Bougival and agreed to be President of Les Amis de Georges Bizet, joining in all its battles and using his talent and his contacts to help the young association.

Bénita Carteron is a retired accompanist teacher at the Conservatoire at Neuilly-sur-Seine. She has lived in Bougival since 1950, when the small towns between Versailles and the Seine were still little villages. She has been playing a key role since 1992, when the hillside of the Jonchère Park was threatened by a development plan that would have destroyed five hectares of wood even though 50 hectares had already been lost in 50 years. She was in charge of submitting a request for the hillside to be classified and obtained the support of 50 major museums including the Tate Gallery in London, the Pinakothek in Munich and the Art Institute of Chicago. The site was classified in July 2001. Since then it has been known as the "Colline des Impressionnistes" or "Impressionists Hill". Bénita became Les Amis de Georges Bizet's Secretary General.

Concerts, shows, conferences and master classes are organised and run in Villa Viardot by Jorge Chaminé and these are proving ever more popular. In 2008 a festival was started and Teresa Berganza, "the greatest Carmen of the century" according to Herbert von Karajan, came along to give a master class all about this masterpiece. She was unable to contain her emotions when she stepped into Pauline Viardot-Garcia's villa for the first time - she is Pauline's spiritual daughter and followed in her wake throughout her musical education.

Since then, Teresa has returned every year to give longer and longer master classes. In 2015, following the death of Jean Lacouture, she became President of Les Amis de Georges Bizet.

The town Bougival

Bougival is a town with a population of 8,700 and is located 12 km from Paris and 7 km from Versailles. It is spread over several verdant hillsides overlooking the Seine.

In the 19th century, with the arrival of the train, Parisians of all classes discovered this was a nice place for a break, appreciating the clean air, swimming spots and guinguettes and also its tranquillity.

Painters, musicians and writers all left their mark and these combine today to create a very varied historical, architectural, natural and intangible heritage that bears witness to

· musical, pictorial and literary creation in the second half of the 19th century,

· the wealth of interaction between artists, writers and creators, 

· the cosmopolitan atmosphere in Bougival where personalities from Spain, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy would come and stay. 

Inspired by Jorge Chaminé's project and conscious of the exceptional value of this heritage, the town has developed a global strategy for protecting and promoting the main sites. 

To find out more:

The crowdfunding campaign

This campaign's goal is to collect an initial 900,000 Euros to buy the house itself and then 560,000 Euros to renovate it.

The investment would cover both the interior and  exterior restoration of the building, the creation of a museum area dedicated to Bizet and of an artists’ residence for writers, visual artists and musicians and the purchase of works for the collection. 

The second goal of this campaign is to create the "Espace Carmen" opposite  Georges Bizet's house in buildings known as "La Ferme" (The Farm), currently owned by the town of Bougival.

This would provide a visitors' reception area including space for an exhibition based on Bizet's masterpiece, a recording studio as well as a multifunctional concert hall where the EMC would organise concerts, master classes, conferences and projections etc. The cost of this is estimated at €1,540,000

The rewards

All backers

will have their name inscribed in the future Espace Carmen and on the project's special website

2 tickets to be won: 

Each donor will also be entered into a draw with the lucky winners enjoying a unique meeting with Plácido Domingo.

Collectors' items:

Original creations in limited series will be made available throughout the campaign:


And of course tickets for the final concert or a magical moment with Plácido Domingo to be revealed during the campaign...

Tax-deductible donations

French donors

Your donation is tax-deductible because it fulfils the conditions set out in articles 200 and 238b of the income tax code. At the end of the fund-raiser, you will receive a tax receipt entitling you to a tax reduction:

- Individuals, you can deduct 66% of your donation up to a maximum of 20% of your taxable income.

- Businesses, the totality of donations to the project enables you to benefit from a reduction in business tax of 60% of the amount donated, up to a maximum of 0.5% of the company's pre-tax turnover.

How to back this project.

You can back this project by:

an online donation on this page after subscribing and logging on to

by bank transfer on this page after subscribing and logging on to

- by sending a cheque (made out to the "Association du Centre Européen de Musique") to the following address:


Projet Carmen

14 rue Crespin du Gast 

75011 Paris, France

They support our project

To continue following the project:



Besides your donations, the best guarantee of success for this project is to share about it; a post on Facebook, a photo on Instagram or a word on Twitter so that Carmen's voice can ring out once more...

With our eternal gratitude !

What the press is saying


Pledge €5 or more
Or 1.7€ after tax deduction
84 donations
Your Name in the Espace Carmen
Your name will be written on the backers wall inside the Espace Carmen

+ Eligible to the Grand Drawing : a chance to win a unique moment with Placido Domingo
Pledge €20 or more
Or 6.8€ after tax deduction
140 donations
Collector bracelet
reward "Your Name in the Espace Carmen"

+ Collector bracelet "l'amour est un oiseau rebelle"
Pledge €50 or more
Or 17€ after tax deduction
107 donations
Carmen - Bizet Badge
reward "Collector Bracelet"

+ 1 Carmen Badge
Pledge €75 or more
Or 25.5€ after tax deduction
11 donations
3 Carmen - Bizet Badges
reward "Collector Bracelet"

+ 3 Carmen - Bizet Badges
Pledge €80 or more
Or 27.2€ after tax deduction
16 donations
Collector Poster
reward "Collector Bracelet"

+ Collector numbered poster
Pledge €100 or more
Or 34€ after tax deduction
106 donations
Carmen - Bizet teeshirt
reward "Collector Bracelet"

+ Carmen - Bizet teeshirt
Pledge €150 or more
Or 51€ after tax deduction
43 donations (57 left)
Original creation sweater #1
reward "Collector Poster"

+ Original creation sweater #1
Pledge €300 or more
Or 102€ after tax deduction
30 donations
2 concert places cat.4
reward "Collector Poster"

+ reward "Carmen - Bizet teeshirt"

+ 2 places for the closing concert cat.4
Pledge €600 or more
Or 204€ after tax deduction
10 donations
2 concert places cat.3
reward "Collector Poster"

+ reward "Carmen - Bizet teeshirt"

+ 2 places for the closing concert cat.3
Pledge €800 or more
Or 272€ after tax deduction
3 donations
2 concert places cat.2
reward "Collector Poster"

+ Original creation sweater #1

+ 2 places for the closing concert cat.2
Pledge €1,000 or more
Or 340€ after tax deduction
16 donations
2 concert places cat.1
reward "Collector Poster"

+ Original creation sweater #1

+ 2 places for the closing concert cat.1
Pledge €2,500 or more
Or 850€ after tax deduction
3 donations
Private visit of the Georges Bizet house
reward "2 concert places cat.1"

+ Invitation for 2 persons for a private visit of the Georges Bizet house ending with a cocktail
Pledge €5,000 or more
Or 1700€ after tax deduction
1 donation
Boat diner + closing concert
reward "Private visit of the Georges Bizet house"

+ Invitation for 2 persons for a private visit of the Georges Bizet house, following by a diner on a boat from Bougival to Paris and ending with the closing concert
Pledge €5,000 or more
Or 1700€ after tax deduction
1 donation
Zuniga (entreprise)
Your company name on the donators' wall

+ Your name (logo + website link) in the newsletters sent during the campaign

+ Your name (logo + website link) on the campaign official website

+ Your name in the Carmen Space inauguration program

+ Private visit of the House of Georges Bizet for 4 persons

+ Invitation for 2 persons at the Carmen Space inauguration
Pledge €10,000 or more
Or 3400€ after tax deduction
1 donation
Morales (entreprise)
Zuniga (company) reward

+ Invitation for 2 persons to a master class

+ Your name in the final press release
Pledge €15,000 or more
Or 5100€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Individual : 27 scenes
reward "Boat diner + closing concert"

+ Give your name to one of the 27 Carmen Scene which will be exposed into the Espace Carmen

+ 2 invitations for the inauguration of the Carmen space
Pledge €25,000 or more
Or 8500€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Mercedes (company)
Morales (company) reward

+ Give your name to one of the 27 Carmen Scene which will be exposed into the Espace Carmen

+ 10 places for a private concert at la Maison de l'Europe in Paris (2018)

+ Coaching course: communication, voice placement, posture
Pledge €50,000 or more
Or 17000€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Frasquita (company)
Mercedes (company) reward

+ Privatisation of the Carmen space for one of your company's event (Gala, Cocktail, Team building...)

+ Private moment with the project holders or Honor Committee members

+ Master class and formation : communication, voice placement, posture.

+ Private concert in your company with artists from the CEM
Pledge €100,000 or more
Or 34000€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Escamillo (entreprise)
Frasquita (company) reward

+ Your name in a specific press release

+ Your name on stage during the campaign closing event
Pledge €250,000 or more
Or 85000€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Micaela (entreprise)
Escamillo (company) reward

+ Custom made event for your company

Please contact us
Pledge €500,000 or more
Or 170000€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Don José (entreprise)
Micaela (company) reward

+ Become a founder member of the European Music Center

Please contact us
Pledge €1,000,000 or more
Or 340000€ after tax deduction
0 donation
Carmen (entreprise)
Don José (company) reward

+ naming if the Georges Bizet house for 3 years

+ Custom made events for your company

Please contact us
Pledge without a reward
35 donations
Pledge an amount of your choosing