On Saturday evening, Opera San Jose opened its 2012-2013 season with Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. First performed in 1863, when Bizet was only 25 years old, The Pearl Fishers is a story about the troubles of friendship and love. Taking place on the island of Ceylon, two men and old friends, Zurga and Nadir, reunite after many years apart. Some time ago, Zurga and Nadir had fallen in love with the same woman–a love that nearly destroyed their friendship. The two vow to remain faithful to their friendship until death, that is, until the beautiful woman from their past returns, and Zurga and Nadir must face their demons once more.
Sung in French, The Pearl Fishers is divided into three parts. Rarely performed, the opera is well-known for the duet between Zurga and Nadir, Au Fond du Temple Saint (In the Depths of the Temple), otherwise known as “The Pearl Fishers Duet.” The famous excerpt combines the tenor and baritone in a song about friendship, brotherhood, and love. Sung exquisitely by Alexander Boyer (Nadir) and Evan Brummel (Zurga), the audience simultaneously feels each of the emotions Zurga and Nadir experience as their inner turmoil is translated into a beautiful and complex aria. This duet sets the stage for this sublime and wonderfully executed opera.
The Pearl Fishers is a fabulous way to begin the 2012-2013 season at Opera San Jose. We are anxiously looking forward to the coming performances! The Pearl Fishers runs from now until September 23rd at the California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San Jose. Tickets are on sale at the Opera San Jose box office, by phone at (408) 437-4450, or online at www.operasj.org.