The Pearl Fishers tells the story of two men, Nadir and Zurga, whose vow of friendship founders on their love for the same woman, the priestess Léïla.
Bizet’s music brims with lyric beauty, imaginative orchestration, magnificent choruses and gorgeous melodies, nowhere more so than in what is perhaps the best-loved tenor/baritone duet in all opera, ‘Au fond du temple saint’.
This new concert staging of the opera in which Bizet found his distinctive voice as a composer is conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren (Don Giovanni, La bohème) and directed by Matthew Eberhardt (Trouble in Tahiti, Street Scene).
Written in the mid-19th century, The Pearl Fishers’ setting, in an exoticised pre-colonial Sri Lanka, presents challenges for contemporary opera companies and audiences. In a related series of events alongside this opera, we will explore some of the issues involved in presenting this work today.