Thu | Aug 17, 2017

'Les Pêcheurs de Perles' at Carib 5 tomorrow

Published:Friday | January 15, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Diana Damrau leads the cast as Priestess Leïla, in Bizet’s 'Les Pêcheurs de Perles'.

Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Pearl Fishers) shows tomorrow at Carib 5 at 12:55 p.m. It returns to the Met stage for the first time since 1916, in a new production conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Penny Woolcock.

This new staging opened on New Year's Eve. Tomorrow's matinee performance will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met's Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 2,000 cinemas in 70 countries around the world, including Jamaica.

The opera, a rarity by the composer of Carmen, tells the story of a beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Highlights of the score include Au fond du temple saint, perhaps the best-known duet for two male voices in the operatic repertory.

Diana Damrau leads the cast as Priestess Leila, opposite Matthew Polenzani as Nadir, Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga and Nicolas Teste as The High Priest Nourabad.

Woolcock's staging of Les PÍcheurs de Perles is a co-production with English National Opera, where it premiered in 2010. It features set design by Dick Bird in his Met debut, costume design by Kevin Pollard, lighting design by Jen Schriever, projection design by 59 Productions and movement direction by Andrew Dawson.

Diana Damrau has previously sung the role of Leila at Vienna's Theatre an der Wien. During last season at the Met, she received rave reviews in the title role of Massenet's Manon. In earlier Met seasons, the German soprano sang her first-ever performances of Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata and Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula to great acclaim.

In 2005, she made her Met debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and, since then, has sung more than 100 performances with the company. These include Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pamina and the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflote, the Countess Adele in the Met premiere of Rossini's Le Comte Ory, the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto.

 

POLENZANI'S ROLE DEBUT

 

This season marks Matthew Polenzani's role debut as Nadir. He has sung more than 315 performances with the Met since his company debut in 1997 as Boyar Kruschev in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov. Other credits with the company include Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, the title character in Offenbach's Les Contes d' Hoffmann, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, Leicester in the Met premiere of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, and the Duke in Rigoletto.

Later this season, he will star in the title role of the Met premiere of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, followed by performances as Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Mariusz Kwiecien has previously sung the role of Zurga at the Teatro Real in Madrid. He made his Met debut in 1999 as Kuligin in Janacek's Kata Kabanova and, since then, he has sung more than 180 performances with the company. His other roles at the Met include the Count in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Rodolfo in La Boheme last season, Riccardo Forth in Bellini's I Puritani, Onegin in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, and the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

After starring as the Duke of Nottingham opposite Polenzani in the company's premiere of Roberto Devereux, he will sing Posa in Verdi's Don Carlo at the San Francisco Opera later this season.

The award-winning British TV and film director Penny Woolcock directed the premiere of this staging of Les PÍcheurs de Perles at the English National Opera in 2010. She made her opera directing debut with the Met premiere of John Adams's Dr Atomic during the 2008-09 season. She is known for her breakthrough film Tina Goes Shopping; Macbeth on the Estate (a gritty, present-day setting of Shakespeare's play); The Margate Exodus (a modern-day telling of the Book of Exodus); and The Death of Klinghoffer.

In 2013, she directed Storyville: From the Sea to the Land Beyond - Britain's Coast on Film, based on the human condition from the primitive life of the working class in the early 1900s to recent times. In 2014, she directed the television documentary Going to the Dogs, which investigated inner-city dog fighting in the United Kingdom, as well as the film documentary One Mile Away, about urban gangs.

Tickets are on sale for The Met Opera's 2015-16 season at the box offices of Palace Cineplex and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com, with a Palace Card.

- Contributed