L.A. Opera presents Company Premiere of THE PEARL FISHERS starring Nino Machaidze and Javier Camarena
General Director Plácido Domingo has announced final details about LA Opera's company premiere of The Pearl Fishers, a rarely performed early work by Georges Bizet, the composer of Carmen. Mr. Domingo will conduct the first four performances of the opera (October 7, 15, 19 and 22), with the final two performances (October 25 and 28) conducted by Resident Conductor Grant Gershon. Performances will take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012).
Set in a seaside village in the Far East, The Pearl Fishers pits two lifelong friends as romantic rivals when they encounter a veiled priestess with a hidden past. The complicated love triangle pushes forbidden desire into a final struggle for life and death, until a nearly forgotten secret saves the day. The ravishing score notably features a duet for the two men that has become one of opera's all-time greatest hits.
"With The Pearl Fishers following our season-opening production of Carmen, our audiences have the rare opportunity to appreciate Bizet's gifts with back-to-back productions of his two best-known operas," said Mr. Domingo. "Many music lovers are only familiar with its celebrated duet, but The Pearl Fishers is an exceptionally beautiful opera, and it deserves a long overdue chance to shine in the spotlight."
Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, a favorite with LA Opera audiences since her 2009 debut in The Elixir of Love, makes her role debut as Leïla. This is her seventh leading role in Los Angeles, after recent appearances as Mimì in La Bohème (2016) and as Violetta in La Traviata (2014). Over the summer, she starred as Pamira in Rossini's rarely performed The Siege of Corinth at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, after making her San Francisco Opera debut as Gilda in Rigoletto.
Arguably the foremost Bel Canto tenor of our time, Mexican tenor Javier Camarena makes his LA Opera debut as Nadir. He earned headlines worldwide for a 2014 Metropolitan Opera performance of La Cenerentola, when he joined the ranks of Luciano Pavarotti and Juan Diego Flórez to become the third singer in 70 years to be granted an encore there. He repeated the same feat in The Daughter of the Regiment at Madrid's Teatro Real, marking only the second time that a singer had given an encore there.
Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza, who has performed several roles with LA Opera since his 2002 debut as Ping in Turandot, returns as Zurga. He was for many years the first baritone soloist at the Berlin State Opera, performing numerous roles including Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Prince Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades. He has recently branched out into more dramatic repertoire, appearing in the leading baritone roles of Verdi's Stiffelio and I Masnadieri and as Scarpia in Tosca, with companies including the Hamburg State Opera, Stuttgart Opera and the New National Opera in Tokyo.
The cast includes bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee, a distinguished alumnus of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, as the high priest Nourabad.
The Creative Team
Director Penny Woolcock makes her company debut with her exquisitely detailed production, previously seen at the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, which sets the opera in the present day. The scenery is designed by Dick Bird and the costume designer is Kevin Pollard, who created the dazzling costumes for last season's Akhnaten. The lighting is designed by Jen Schriever, with projections created by 59 Productions, the Tony Award-winning team behind Broadway's An American in Paris. The movement director and aerial choreographer is Andrew Dawson and the fight choreographer is Austin Spangler.
Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $16 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.
For additional information, visit LAOpera.org/PearlFishers.