Bizet's excursion into the exotic world of Ceylonese fishermen is, in many ways, as evocative, dramatic and wonderfully unforgettable as his later super-hit, Carmen. The opera is best known for the duet Au fond du temple saint, but like most operas with a "signature" tune, one often realises that there is a great deal more of substance to be unearthed. Les pÃªcheurs de perles is as graceful and shimmering in style as one could wish with the composer giving it a high sense of drama throughout. The music is expertly paced and the opera is now a standard repertory piece. It tells the story of two friends, Zurga and Nadir, and how their friendship disintegrates under the weight of their passion for the priestess Leila. The storm clouds that gather threaten to bring the story to a catastrophic and inevitable conclusion, but history and the memory of past events offer salvation. Sung in French with English surtitles. In association with Classic FMPerformers Matthew Hargreaves (mat)18/20/22), Simon Thorpe (eve)/19/21), Philippe Do (mat)19/21), Nicholas Rawnsley (eve)19/21), Valerie MacCarthy (mat)18/20/22), Maureen Brathwaite (eve)19/21), Keel Watson (Nourbad).
Music Bizet. Company Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Company Holland Park Opera (chorus). Director Vernon Mound. Conductor Brad Cohen. Design Jamie Vartan. Costume Charles Lester. Costume Patricia Lester. Choreographer Anthoula Papadakis. Lighting Hartley T A Kemp.