Les Pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers)

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Georges Bizet


Michel Carré, and Eugène Cormon


30 September 1863, Paris (Théâtre Lyrique)




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About the opera Les Pêcheurs de perles

Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) is an opera in three acts by the French composer Georges Bizet, to a libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré. It was first performed on 30 September 1863 at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris, and was given 18 performances in its initial run. Set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon, the opera is a story of how two men's vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman, whose own dilemma is the conflict between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess. The friendship duet "Au fond du temple saint", generally known as "The Pearl Fishers Duet", is one of the best-known numbers in Western opera.
At the time of the premiere, Bizet was 25 years old and had yet to establish himself in the Parisian musical world. The commission to write Les pêcheurs arose from his standing as a former winner of the prestigious Prix de Rome. Despite a good reception by the public, press reactions to the work were generally hostile and dismissive, although other composers, notably Hector Berlioz, found considerable merit in the music. The opera was not revived in Bizet's lifetime, but from 1886 onwards it was performed with some regularity in Europe and America, and from the mid-20th century has entered the repertory of opera houses worldwide. Because the autograph score was lost, post-1886 productions were based on amended versions of the score that contained significant departures from the original. However, since the 1970s, efforts have been made to reconstruct the score in accordance with Bizet's intentions.
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Roles in Les Pêcheurs de perles

Leïla Soprano
Nadir Tenor
Zurga Baritone
Nourabad Bass

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All scenes from Les Pêcheurs de perles

Arias from Les Pêcheurs de perles
Duets from Les Pêcheurs de perles

Nr.Title sceneOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1OverturePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.01instrumentaln/aFrenchn/a
2Sur la greve en feuPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.02choirn/aFrench
3Amis interrompez vos dansesPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.03-1 recitative,choirBr TFrenchZurga/Nadir
4Mais qui vient laPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.03-2 recitative,choirT BrFrenchNadir/Zurga
5Demeure parmi nous NadirPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.04Br TFrenchZurga/Nadir
6C'est toi qu'enfin je revaisPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.05recitativetenorFrenchNadir
7Au fond du temple saintPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.06duetT BrFrenchNadir/Zurga
8Que vois je?Pêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.07Br TFrenchZurga/Nadir
9Elle vient..sois la bienvenuePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.08choirn/aFrench
10Seule au milieu de nousPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.09Br SFrenchZurga/Leïla
11A cette voix quel troublePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.10recitative,ariatenorFrenchNadir
12Je crois entendre encorePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.11ariatenorFrenchNadir
13Le ciel est bleuPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.12duetB TFrenchNourabad/Nadir
14O Dieu BrahmaPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.13ariasopranoFrenchLeïla
15Dans le ciel sans voilePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet1.14ariasopranoFrenchLeïla
16L'ombre descend des cieuxPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.01duet,choirS BFrenchLeïla/Nourabad
17Me voila seul dans la nuitPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.02-1 ariasopranoFrenchLeïla
18Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombrePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.02-2 ariasopranoFrenchLeïla
19De mon amie fleur endormiePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.03ariatenorFrenchNadir
20Leila leila Dieu puissantPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.04-1 duetS TFrenchLeïla/Nadir
21Ton coeur n'a pas compris le mienPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.04-2 duetT SFrenchNadir/Leïla
22Ah! revenez a la raisonPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.05T S BFrenchNadir/Leïla/Nourabad
23Arretez! c'est moi d'ordonnerPêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet2.06quartetBr S T BFrenchZurga/Leïla/Nadir/Nourabad
24L'orage s'est calmePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet3.01-1 ariabaritoneFrenchZurga
25O Nadir tendre ami de mon jeune agePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet3.01-2 ariabaritoneFrenchZurga
26Qu'ai je vu?Pêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet3.02recitative,duetBr SFrenchZurga/Leïla
27Je fremis je chancellePêcheurs de perles, Les (The Pearl Fishers)Bizet3.03duetS BrFrenchLeïla/Zurga