On The pearl fishers of the French Composer Bize
“Les pêcheurs de perles () is an opera in three acts by the French composer Georges Bizet. It was premiered on 30 September 1863 at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris, and was given 18 performances in its initial run. Set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon(Sri Lanka), the opera tells the story of how two men’s vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman. The friendship duet “Au fond du temple saint”, generally known as “The Pearl Fishers Duet”, is one of the best-known in Western opera.
At the time of the premiere, Bizet was not yet 25 years old: he had yet to establish himself in the Parisian musical world. The commission to write Les pêcheurs arose from his standing as a former winner of the prestigious Prix de Rome. Despite a good reception by the public, press reactions to the work were generally hostile and dismissive, although other composers, notably Hector Berlioz, found considerable merit in the music. The opera was not revived in Bizet’s lifetime, but from 1886 onwards it was performed with some regularity in Europe and North America, and from the mid-20th century has entered the repertory of opera houses worldwide. This opera is going to be re performed on our National Opera and Ballet Theater.