Georges Bizet's Carmen, premiering in France, March 3rd, 1875, was one of the most successful opera's in the history of the dramatic form. The opera remained so popular through the years, that over 100 years later, it was remade by MTV to reach a whole new generation of people. In order for this story to be retold, many changes had to be made so that it could be adopted into modern culture, such as the most noticeable change of involving rap music as supposed to the original classical form. Since rap is already a commercial sensation, MTV capitalized on its popularity by converting the entire Carmen story into the hip-hop genre, dubbing it Carmen : A Hip-Hopera. The comparison between Carmen : A Hip-Hopera and the original Carmen cannot be done with comparing much of the changes in society and the appeal to audiences.
The story of Carmen has remained relatively unchanged over the years, and even in MTV's version of Carmen, the story remains intact. However, popular culture and the influence of Hollywood in films have turned the dramatic ending of Carmen into a finish that plays more to a clean cut Hollywood-style finale. The original story of Carmen involved Carmen, a seductive gypsy girl, who falls in love with José, an honourable army general, who gives up everything to be with her. Carmen falls in love with another man, and trying to fulfill her dreams, ends up leaving José's life destroyed and his emotions distraught. The finale ends with Carmen rejecting José, and him going over the top and killing her. When MTV recreated Carmen, the story was modified to fit modern times. Carmen was now a job-less aspiring actress, José was no longer an army general, but a police officer named Sgt. Hill, and the man Carmen fell in love with was now Blaze, a famous rapper with connections in the entertainment industry. In the original version of Carmen, the story followed Carmen as the main character, and most of the story revolved around her perspective.