Les Pêcheurs de perles von Georges Bizet
Libretto von Michel Carré und Eugène Cormon / In französischer Sprache mit deutschen und englischen Übertiteln
In a fairy-tale-like musical setting, Georges Bizet's "Les Pêcheurs de perles" (The Pearl Fishers) portrays a poignant conflict between love and friendship, duty and passion. Apart from containing the most famous male duet in the history of music, "Au fond du temple saint," this opera gem, which had been almost forgotten for a long time, includes a plethora of fascinating melodies. The concert performance at the Salzburg State Theatre offers the opportunity to experience this work with an absolute focus on its multifaceted music.
Many years ago, the close friendship between the pearl fisherman Zurga and the hunter Nadir was on the verge of breaking because both had fallen in love with the same young woman, Leila. Only a solemn oath of renunciation could preserve their relationship. Now, Zurga is chosen as the leader of the pearl fishers, and according to an old ritual, a veiled priestess is supposed to pray for the protection of the fishers during their perilous work. However, Nadir recognizes that Leila is the one behind the veil. Driven by his passion, Nadir breaks the oath of renunciation he once made and Leila defies the vow of chastity. When the double breach of the oath is discovered, the drama unfolds.
The librettists Michel Carré and Eugène Cormon set the story in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. Georges Bizet's colorful composition is distinguished by its dense musical atmosphere, providing space for both lyrical passages and spectacular choral numbers.
The 24-year-old Georges Bizet (1838– 1875) composed "Les Pêcheurs de perles" for the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris. This early work long remained unfairly overshadowed by his successful opera "Carmen." Only in recent years has there been a resurgence of interest in this piece.
The musical direction is in the hands of Music Director Leslie Suganandarajah, who leads the opera ensemble, the choir, and the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg through this extraordinary opera, the original score of which is considered lost. The work is performed based on the new edition by Hugh Macdonald.