I'm posting a group of three new singers as LeÃ¯la: one current legend (Mariella Devia), one current superstar (Marina Rebeka), and one fairly obscure singer (Diana Walker).
THE SONGBIRD: Marina Rebeka sits at the top of the rosters of the major operatic houses in the world. She was born in Riga, Latvia in 1980. After studying in Rome, she made her debut as Violetta in Germany in 2007 and quickly booked engagements with the major European opera festivals. She replaced Angela Gheorghiu in "La Traviata" at the Royal Opera in 2010 (and then repeated that feat by stepping in for Sonya Yoncheva in the same production there in 2015). Her Met debut came as Donna Anna in 2011 followed by appearances as Donna Elvira, Violetta, Musetta, Rossini's Mathilde, and Norma. As of this posting, she has four solo aria recital discs to her credit, two of which were produced by her own independent recording label "Prima Classic." Well done, Marina!
THE MUSIC: I just recorded this yesterday, so it's hot off the airwaves -- either a repeat or delayed broadcast from the 2017 Lyric Opera of Chicago season. LeÃ¯la, the soprano lead in Bizet's opera "Le pecheurs de perles" ("The Pearl Fishers") is more of a French lyric role, with a smidgen of coloratura in her prayer to the deity Brahma at the end of Act 1. There are some frills, trills, and top notes in this section of the score in order to conjure the exotic world of Ceylon and elevate the vocal temperature as the act closes.
Watch videos with other singers performing O Dieu Brahma: