Pretty Yende, Javier Camarena, And Mariusz Kwiecien Star In Bizet's LES PECHEURS DE PERLES
Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) returns to the Metropolitan Opera for seven performances November 14-December 8, 2018. Bizet's opera tells the story of a beautiful Hindu temple priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her love. The cast is led by soprano Pretty Yende as Leïla, tenor Javier Camarena as Nadir, and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga, led by conductor Emmanuel Villaume.
Both Kwiecien and bass-baritone Nicolas Testé (as the high priest Nourabad) reprise the roles they sang when Penny Woolcock's acclaimed production premiered at the Met on New Year's Eve 2015, with the action relocated from ancient Ceylon to a contemporary Asian seaside town. The first Met staging of the 19th-century opera since 1916, the production is particularly striking for its remarkable video projections, lighting effects, and aerialists. Highlights of the score include the much-loved tenor aria "Je crois entendre encore" and the great tenor-baritone duet of friendship, "Au fond du temple saint," one of the best-known numbers for two male voices in the operatic repertory.
For the December 8 performance, Amanda Woodbury and Raymond Aceto will sing the roles of Leïla and Nourabad, respectively.
Les Pêcheurs de Perles Radio and Online Broadcasts
The November 14 and November 28 performances of Les Pêcheurs de Perles will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75, and both performances will also be streamed live on the Met's web site, metopera.org.
Les Pêcheurs de Perles Artist Biographies
South African soprano Pretty Yende makes her role debut as Leïla. She made a surprise company debut in 2013 when she stepped in at short notice to sing her first-ever performance of Countess Adèle in Rossini's Le Comte Ory opposite Juan Diego Flórez. Since then, she has sung Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Elvira in Bellini's I Puritani, Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Later this season, she will be seen at the Met as Marie in Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment, which will be broadcast live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
Mexican tenor Javier Camarena makes his company role debut as Nadir, a role he has previously sung at LA Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He made his Met debut in 2011 as Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He sang Don Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola at the Met in 2014, in which the overwhelming audience response led him to give a mid-performance encore of the aria "Si, ritrovarla io guiro." He gave another mid-performance encore, of the aria "Povero Ernesto," in 2016 when he sang Ernesto in Donizetti's Don Pasquale. Last year at the Met, he sang the role of Idreno in Rossini's Semiramide.
Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien made his Met debut in 1999 as Kuligin in Janácek's Káta Kabanová, and since then has sung more than 200 performances with the company. His other roles at the Met include Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème, Riccardo Forth in Bellini's I Puritani, Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, the title roles of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, and the Duke of Nottingham in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux.
French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé has previously sung Nourabad in Valencia and at the Vienna State Opera as well as at the Met. In previous seasons at the Met, he sang des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, Colline in Puccini's La Bohème, and Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen. His other performances this season include Marcel in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots and Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Paris Opera, Hérode in Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and Claudius in Thomas's Hamlet at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
French conductor Emmanuel Villaume conducted Massenet's Thaïs and Puccini's Tosca last season at the Met. He is currently music director of the Dallas Opera and music director and chief conductor of the Prague Philharmonia. He made his Met debut in 2004 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and his subsequent performances with the company have included Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila, Bizet's Carmen, Massenet's Manon, and Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. Upcoming performances include Puccini's Manon Lescaut at Dallas Opera and Massenet's Don Quichotte at Deutsche Oper Berlin.
For further details on Les Pêcheurs de Perles, including casting by date, please click here.