It’s been 100 years since the Metropolitan Opera last staged Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers), and opera lovers can enjoy it Live from the Met: in HD on the big screen at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, Jan. 16.
It’s highly unusual that this emotional tale of love and jealousy set in the exotic Far East is performed anywhere so this is a real treat.
Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand.
Her suitors are, naturally, a tenor and a baritone. Just as naturally — this is opera, after all — they are friends.
Tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien take up the challenge to perform the moving duet, Au fond du temple saint.
The announcement that this beloved composition is on the menu will draw folks to a concert all by itself and opera buffs of all generations will argue passionately about who has best performed this beautiful piece of work. Our personal favourite is still Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill, recorded in 1950, but we know there are feisty folks out there who will take up the cudgels for other singers.
In this Met production, conductor Gianandrea Noseda will be adding his romantic touch to a score from a composer who is best known for another much-loved and passionate opera, Carmen. Remember you must be in your seats at 9:55 a.m. Adult tickets are $27 each, with seniors paying $25, student $23 and children $16. Order yours online at cowichanpac.ca or call 250-748-7529.