"Pearl Fishers" Opera Coming to Detroit

"Pearl Fishers" Opera Coming to Detroit

Bizet's exotic masterpiece "The Pearl Fishers" came to MOT dressed to kill with sets to match and a starry cast. This time out the rewards are even greater for the audience in this great work of French opera, transcending even Bizet's "hit" "Carmen"

The sets, with vibrant oranges, yellows, reds and greens, like an overgrown hothouse of tropical plants, is a splendid background for the lush melodies of the composer. (The indefatigable Kendall Smith pulls out the stops with his gorgeous lighting scheme.)

Early in Act I the justifiably famous duet, "Au fond du temple saint," sung by the two male leads, Nadir (tenor Noah Stewart) and Zurga (baritone Nmon Ford), becomes a leitmotiv and reappears several times; finally, at the opera's end, plaintively as Leila (soprano Leah Partridge) and Nadir go off together while Zurga stays behind to face the wrath of the superstitious Ceylonese villagers.

The libretto is a pastiche of sentimental, coincidental and pagan ideas, hardly worth discussing. But, oh, the music - delicate, rousing and lyrical make this opera a must hear, a splendid showcase for singers. And this production a feast for the eyes.

The strength of an opera company like MOT is evident in this production. Just a few months ago, the conductor, Mark Flint, a regular on the podium, died. In his place, General Director David DiChiera reached into his bag of musical talent and pulled out Suzanne Mallare Acton, MOT's chorus master and the originator of the Children's Chorus.

Details of "Pearl Fishers" opera coming to Detroit here

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