In Bizet’s first masterpiece, The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles), three people are linked by conflicting bonds of loyalty and attraction. When the friends betray each other their world is rocked to its foundation. We hear the heart sing its secret songs in this new Opera Conference production by Michael Gow.
ACT ONE: It’s pearl diving season in Ceylon. Zurga greets the villagers as they celebrate and during the festivities Nadir arrives. Nadir and Zurga were once friends. They reminisce about a woman they both knew. Nadir does not tell Zurga that he spent a night with this woman and has been in love with her ever since. When Nourabad arrives with a woman, Nadir recognizes her voice and knows it is Leila, the woman he is obsessed with.
ACT TWO: Nourabad barricades Leila in a temple. Leila tells him about a man she once rescued and who, in gratitude, gave her the necklace she wears. Nadir reunites with Leila. When Nourabad catches them he tells the villagers that Nadir has betrayed them all. Zurga calms the villagers until Nourabad reveals that the woman is Leila. Zurga, jealous And outraged, orders them to be put to death.
ACT THREE: Leila begs Zurga for Nadir’s life and admits she loves him. Leila asks that her necklace be given to her mother. Zurga recognizes the necklace as the one he gave to the woman who saved him and realises that it was Leila who had rescued him years before. Nourabad urges the villagers to kill Leila and Nadir. Zurga tells the villagers that the village is on fire allowing Leila and Nadir time to escape. Zurga awaits the judgment of Nourabad and the pearl fishers.
West Australian Opera Chorus
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Sung in French with English surtitles
THE PEARL FISHERS: CAST CHANGE (NADIR)
On medical advice Mr John Longmuir has withdrawn from the role of Nadir and West Australian Opera wishes him a speedy recovery. At short notice New Zealand tenor Mr Jonathan Abernethy has flown from Berlin to sing the role of Nadir.
We welcome Jonathan to West Australian Opera for The Pearl Fishers season.
SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
FIGHT & MOVEMENT COORDINATOR
This production was commissioned by the Opera Conference,
Australia’s national partnership of professional opera companies.