Going to the Metropolitan Opera is a wonderful thing. I am happy to say that I have attended many operas in this wonderful place, and although I live close to New York, I chose to watch the HD broadcast at a local movie theatre this past weekend, and I have to say, it was a heck of a good time. But let’s talk about the opera itself, first.
The last time the Met presented The Pearl Fishers, Caruso played the part of Nadir. That was over one hundred years ago. Just WHY they waited so long to bring forth another production, I cannot tell you. However, it might have been worth the wait when you consider the high tech options now available to live theatre. And, the Met took full advantage of many of these options to excellent results. From the overture, where we see pearl divers swimming through the deep water, to the tsunami, when the deep waters devastate the village, we are treated to the very best that modern theatrical special effects can offer.
The duet between the two male leads in the Pearl Fishers, is one of the most beloved duets in operatic repertoire. And with good reason. It is sumptuous. Here, have a listen:
Many consider this the best recording of the duet.
The Met cast gives us Mariusz Kwiecien in the role of Zurga, and Matthew Polenazani as Nadir. Their performance left this blogger in tears.
Nadir’s aria, is also a thing of great beauty. Here is a performance by Nicolai Gedda.
Apparently, Diana Damrau was the one who encouraged the Met to bring this production (which began in London) to the Met. Ms. Damrau was a lovely Leila, and her high notes are gorgeous. Her real life husband, Nicolas Teste played the high priest Nourabad. (lucky girl)