ROHM presents Bizet’s exotic opera on May 11, 13

ON the Island of Ceylon in ancient times, two pearl fishers made a vow of eternal friendship, which was soon threatened by their love for the same woman, Leila, a young Brahma priestess whose ethereal beauty they had glimpsed. The fishers had each renounced their attraction for Leila, swearing to remain true to each other.
As the opera opens, the two pearl fishermen, Zurga and Nadir, who had gone their separate ways, meet again and, in the famous Pearl Fishers’ Duet, “Au fond du temple saint”, affirm that they will be faithful until death. But, unknown to Zurga, Nadir had already broken his original vow. He had secretly pursued his passion for Leila who returned his love with equal ardour.
When Leila arrives veiled in red and gold to pray for the safety of the fishermen in an age-old ritual, Nadir intuitively recognises her and they privately renew their love. With exquisite lyrical tenderness, Nadir sings a hauntingly beautiful aria of remembrance. When Zurga, who is now the powerful head of the fishermen, discovers his friend’s betrayal, he is overwhelmed with terrible jealousy. In an uncontrollable surge of anger Zurga orders the execution of Leila and Nadir. But fate intervenes in the form of a violent storm and a sudden fire in the fishermen’s camp…
This is the dramatic story of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, The Pearl Fishers, a sumptuous opera of love and longing in the Far East by Georges Bizet, who is most famous for the opera Carmen. Bizet was only twenty-five years old when Les Pêcheurs de Perles premiered in 1863. Abounding in arias that seem to radiate beautiful light and rich colour, in this opera Bizet’s music is transcendent, a joy to experience.
Performed at the Royal Opera House Muscat by Belgium’s renowned Opéra Royal de Liège Wallonie, the opera is directed by the award-winning Japanese Director, Yoshi Oïda. A stellar cast includes Anne-Catherine Gillet as Leila and Marc Laho and Lionel Lhote as the Pearl Fishers.
Anne-Catherine Gillet is a charismatic and expressive young Belgian soprano with a full schedule of exciting roles in Europe and around the world. Among the famous roles of special note that she has performed recently are Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel at the Palais Garnier; Oscar in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera; Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute; and, Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.
The Royal Opera House Muscat presents Bizet’s enchanting opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perles on Thursday May 11 and May 13, Saturday at 7.30 pm. For more information and booking consult the ROHM website – www.rohmuscat.org.om