Fri | Jan 22, 2021

'The Pearl Fishers' shows Sunday at Cineplex

Published:Wednesday | July 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A scene from Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles.
Diana Damrau as Leila in Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles.
Nicolas Teste as Nourabad in Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles.

Can two best friends uphold their promises of not pursuing the woman they both love? Will she, a Hindu priestess, keep her vows to forsake love completely?

British director and film-maker Penny Woolcock explores the enduring themes of love, betrayal and vengeance in a production of George Bizet's Opera Les PÍcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) that vividly depicts the mystical wonder of southeast Asia.

The cast is headlined by soprano Diana Damrau as Leila, the beautiful priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her affection. Matthew Polenzan, tenor, and Mariusz Kwiecien, baritone, are her suitors who sing the rapturous duet Au fond du temple saint.

Conductor Gianandrea Noseda breathes new life into Bizet's lush score, ably supported by the Met Orchestra.

Les PÍcheurs de Perles is scheduled for this Sunday, July 9, at 11:30 a.m. at the Palace Cineplex in the Sovereign Centre, Liguanea.

Les PÍcheurs de Perles was originally composed in 1863 and premiered at Theatre Lyrique, Paris. After its opening run, The Pearl Fishers was not performed again until 11 years after Bizet's death. It was then presented in 1886 in Italian at La Scala, followed by regular stagings in European cities. It did not return to Paris until 1889 and made its US premiere in Philadelphia in 1893.

In 1896, its first two acts were performed at the Massenet's one-act opera La Navarraise. In the mid-20th century, it began to enter the opera repertory worldwide

Set in an unspecified Asian locale during modern times, the opera centres around two friends, Nadir (Matthew Polenzani) and Zurga (Mariusz Kwiecien), who, after a bitter dispute, vowed to never let the love of a woman jeopardise their friendship again. However, when a mysterious priestess arrives in Ceylon, once again Nadir must choose between the vow he made to his friend or the love of his life.

Tickets are on sale at the box office, Palace Cineplex, and via the web at with any major credit card or a Palace Card.