20th January 1809
6th December 1865
Sebastián Iradier Salaverri was a Spanish composer, born in Lanciego, in the province of Álava. At the request of his publisher he used the surname Yradier instead of Iradier. He helped popularize the habanera genre, particuarly with the one titled "La Paloma", written around 1860 after a visit to Cuba. A collection of 25 of Iradier's most popular songs was published in Paris in 1864, with French words, as Fleurs d'Espagne. Another of Iradier's compositions is "El Arreglito", a habanera used by Georges Bizet in his opera Carmen as a source of inspiration. Bizet, thinking it was a folk song, was inspired by the melody of "El Arreglito" and recomposed what is known today as the "Habanera" from Carmen: the aria "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" which is very close, melodically, to "El Arreglito". When he discovered his mistake, Bizet added a note to the vocal score of the opera, acknowledging its source.