Bizet: Les Pécheurs de Perles

Composer Georges Bizet
Artist Orchestra Filarmonica Alérnitana Giuseppe Verdi
Coro del Teatro Dell'Opera di Salerno
Daniel Oren conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94434
EAN code 5028421944340
Release December 2012

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About this release

Parisian composer Georges Bizet was enrolled in the Consevatoire at the age of nine and won a premier prix in solfège within six months of his arrival. He later received prizes for his skill as a pianist, gaining particular renown for his sight-reading, and won the coveted Prix de Rome in 1857. At this time, opera theatres in Paris were reluctant to stage new works rather than the established classics, meaning that Bizet’s operas did not achieve much success during his lifetime, despite the fact that today two of his operas are considered among the best ever written.

The premiere of Les Pêcheurs de Perles took place in 1863 and the opera was brought back to Paris in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle of that year. The story, set in Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), centres on the love between the priestess Léïla and the fisherman Nadir, who is envied by his fellow fisherman and friend Zurga. The idea of the ‘exotic’ is a prominent feature of the opera and can be heard in the unusual instruments of the percussion section, the dance rhythms, and the use of the harp. The qualities of the ‘exotic’ evoked here are more similar to those of the Mediterranean than of Ceylon, although it is known from Bizet’s letters that his original inspiration for the setting was Mexico. The opera contains the famous friendship duet, ‘Au fond du temple saint’, known as the Pearl Fishers’ Duet.

The recording features Desirée Rancatore and Celso Albelo in the roles of Léila and Nadir. Rancatore, a leading interpreter of the light, lyrical roles in Italian opera, debuted as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro at the Salzburg Festival at just 19 years old. She has since won critical acclaim for her performances as Adina (L’elisir d’amour), Gilda (Rigoletto) and the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), all of which she has sung worldwide. Tenor Celso Albelo has performed all over the world in operas such as Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammemoor and Falstaff, and was awarded the Opera National Prize (Spain) for Best Newcomer in 2008 for his performance in I puritani.

Other information:
- A brand new recording of Bizet’s opera Les pêcheurs de perles, recorded in 2012.
- Conductor Daniel Oren counts among the best Italian opera conductors.
- Contains extensive notes on the work.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Prelude
  2. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Introduction: Sur la grève en feu (Chorus)
  3. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Scène et choeur: Amis, interrompez vos danses (Zurga/Chorus/Nadir)
  4. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Récit et reprise du choeur dansé: Demeure parmi nous, Nadir (Zurga/Chorus/Nadir)
  5. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Récit et duo: C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois! (Zurga/Nadir)
  6. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Duo: Au fond du temple saint (Zurga/Nadir)
  7. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Récit, choeur et scène: Que vois-je? (Zurga/Nadir/Chorus)
  8. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Choeur: C’est elle! Elle vient!…Sois la bienvenue (Chorus)
  9. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Scène et choeur: Seule au milieu de nous (Zurga/Léïla/Chorus/Nourabad)
  10. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Récit et romance: À cette voix… Je crois entendre encore (Nadir)
  11. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Final: Le ciel est bleu! (Chorus/Nourabad/Nadir)
  12. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 1: Air et choeur: Ô Dieu Brahma! (Léïla/Chorus/Nadir)

Disk 2

  1. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 2: Entr’acte, choeur et scène: La, la, la…L’ombre descend des cieux (Chorus/Léïla/Nourabad)
  2. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 2: Récit et cavatine: Me voilà seule dans la nuit (Léïla)
  3. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 2: Chanson: De mon amie (Nadir/Léïla)
  4. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 2: Duo: Léïla!…Dieu puissant (Nadir/Léïla)
  5. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 2: Final: Ah! revenez à la raison! (Léïla/Nadir/Nourabad/Chorus/Zurga)
  6. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 1: Entr’acte, récit et air: L’orage s’est calmé…Ô Nadir (Zurga)
  7. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 1: Scène et duo: Qu’ai-je vu?… Je frémis, je chancelle (Zurga/Léïla)
  8. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 1: Scène: Entends au loin ce bruit de fête! (Nourabad/Léïla/Zurga)
  9. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 2: Choeur dansé: Dès que le soleil (Chorus)
  10. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 2: Scène et choeur: Sombres divinités (Nourabad/Chorus/Zurga/Léïla/Nadir)
  11. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 2: Trio: Ô lumière sainte (Léïla/Nadir/Zurga)
  12. Les Pécheurs de Perles: Act 3: Scene 2: Final: Ce sont eux, les voici! (Zurga/Nadir/Léïla/Nourabad/Chorus)