MET OPERA IN HD: LES PECHEURS DE PERLES (THE PEARL FISHERS)

 

PRESENTED BY:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines
The Metropolitan Opera of New York
The Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc. and
Ayala Malls Cinemas

DATE/TIME/VENUE:
January 9, 2018
Tuesday at 6:30 PM
Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3
Estimated Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

 

DESCRIPTION:
Bizet's rarely heard opera returned to the Met for the first time in a century on New Year's Eve 2015 in Penny Woolock's acclaimed new production. Star soprano Diana Damrau sings Leila, the virgin priestess at the center of the story. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien are Nadir and Zurga, rivals for Leila's love who have sworn to renounce her to protect their friendship—and who get to sing one of opera's most celebrated duets, "Au fond du temple saint." Nicolas Testé is the high priest Nourabad and Gianandrea Noseda conducts Bizet's supremely romantic score.

The Metropolitan Opera in HD is a series of screenings of the latest performances by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, delivered in high-definition video and Dolby Surround Sound.

SYNOPSIS:

ACT I
A pearl-diving village in the Far East. As the villagers prepare for their dive, they sing of their fear of the sea. Zurga tells them they must choose a leader, and they unanimously swear loyalty to him. Nadir returns to the village after spending a year away. He and Zurga recall that their friendship was almost destroyed when they both fell in love with a Hindu priestess. Nadir swears he has kept the vow they both made to protect their friendship by staying away from her. Nourabad, the High Priest, brings a priestess to the village. She is to sing and pray all night to calm the demons of the deep and to ward off the spirits of the storm. Although she is veiled, Nadir immediately realizes she is Leïla, the priestess he still loves. Zurga, who does not recognize her, imposes an oath of obedience upon her on pain of death. Leïla is to remain veiled and pure. Her reward for keeping the divers safe from harm will be their finest pearl. Nadir, alone, reveals that he and Leïla have met illicitly and that he has followed her to the village. He listens as she begins her incantation and, unable to resist any longer, calls out to her. She breaks off, answering his love.

 

ACT II
Nourabad tells Leïla that the divers have returned safely and she can now sleep until morning in the temple. He stresses the importance of her vow. As proof of her ability to keep her promise she tells him how, as a little girl, she once protected a fugitive. The man she saved gave her a necklace, which she wears to this day. In her sleep, Leïla dreams of Nadir, who is in fact making his way into the sacred enclosure. The couple is reunited. As a storm breaks out, they are discovered and denounced by Nourabad, who blames them for the tempest. Zurga protects his friend from the fury of the villagers, who demand his immediate death. Nourabad tears off Leïla’s veil. Zurga finally recognizes Leïla and realizes that Nadir has betrayed their oath. He angrily demands death for the guilty couple.

 

ACT III
The storm has died away but the village has suffered terrible damage from flooding. Zurga’s anger has passed and he sadly reflects on Nadir’s fate. Leïla intercedes for Nadir and Zurga relents, but his jealousy reawakens when he realizes how much Leïla loves his rival. He allows Nourabad to take her to be sacrificed together with Nadir. Before she leaves, she gives her special necklace to one of the young divers and asks him to give it to her mother. Zurga seizes the necklace with a cry. The pearl fishers prepare for the ritual deaths of Leïla and Nadir at dawn. Zurga stops them with the news that the village is on fire, and the villagers flee to try and save their children. Zurga releases Nadir and Leïla and explains that he set the village alight in order to rescue them. He reveals that he was the fugitive Leïla saved many years ago. The lovers gratefully make their escape and Zurga is left to face the consequences of his actions. (Courtesy of English National Opera)

 

PRODUCTION CREDITS:
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
Leïla: Diana Damrau
Nadir: Matthew Polenzani
Zurga: Mariusz Kwiecien
Nourabad: Nicolas Testé

TICKET INFORMATION:
Ticket Price: P450
Discount: 20% for Senior Citizens