Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) - Live in HD (DVD)

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Description

Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) - Live in HD (DVD)

2018 Grammy Nominee - Best Opera Recording

Bizet’s rarely heard opera returned to the Met for the first time in a century on New Year’s Eve 2015, in Penny Woolcock’s acclaimed new production. Star soprano Diana Damrau sings Leïla, the virgin priestess at the center of the story.

Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien are Nadir and Zurga, rivals for Leïla’s love who have sworn to renounce her to protect their friendship—and who get to sing one of opera’s most celebrated duets, “Au fond du temple saint.” Nicolas Testé is the high priest Nourabad and Gianandrea Noseda conducts Bizet’s supremely romantic score.

Ms. Damrau brings brilliant coloratura agility, radiant sound and charisma galore to the role of Leila … Mr. Noseda conducts as if every moment of the music matters deeply.” –The New York Times

History

Les Pêcheurs de Perles

French composer, Georges Bizet (1838–1875) was known as a brilliant student and prodigy, but his works only found lasting success after his untimely death. Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) was one as was his final opera, Carmen.

Few operas can match the sheer lyric beauty of Bizet’s youthful work. Its somewhat formulaic plot becomes insignificant alongside the accomplishment of the score and the tantalizing musical vision of a distant land that it provides.

It originally takes place in Ceylon, modern Sri Lanka, in non-historic “ancient times,” signifying an exotic setting with a mythical and romantic aura. The Met’s production in its 2018/2019 season set the action in an unspecified locale in the Far East.

The most famous moment in the work comes with the justly celebrated duet between the tenor and baritone, the ravishing “Au fond du temple saint” in Act I.

Critics at the time of its first presentation were not in favor of the opera. The composer was accused, bafflingly, of imitating both Verdi and Wagner, but the audience was swept up in the ravishing score tinged with the allure of a mythical, South Asian sensibility.

Les Pêcheurs de Perles made its world premiere at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 1863.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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