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The Pearl Fishers is a compelling tale of friendship tested by love. A tragic love triangle lies at the heart of the story, which explores themes of desire and rejection, longing and loss, and living within religious strictures.
These themes inspire memorable melodies, colourful orchestration and evocative choruses from Bizet, proving that there is more to his work than Carmen. The beautiful duet, Then from the Holy Shrine, between friends Nadir and Zurga is one of the most striking examples of this.
Opening with a mesmerising underwater sequence, this is a visually stunning production, set against the backdrop of a shanty town community on an exotic island. Acclaimed film-maker Penny Woolcock returns to ENO to direct this update of her 2010 production of The Pearl Fishers. Her previous forays into opera include her widely-praised staging of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic at ENO and the Metropolitan Opera.
For this first revival of The Pearl Fishers, soprano Sophie Bevan, a former ENO Harewood Artist and a firm audience favourite, makes her role debut as Leïla. Vying for her affections as Nadir and Zurga are tenor John Tessier, who was a loveable Nemorino in Jonathan Miller’s The Elixir of Love, and current ENO Harewood Artist, baritone George von Bergen. Rising star conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud, a specialist in French 19th-century repertoire, makes his UK operatic debut with this eagerly awaited revival.
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York
The Pearl Fishers is sung and surtitled in English | Running time: 2hrs 30mins (including 1 interval)
Revival supported by the Friends of ENO
Signed performance Thu 3 Jul. Pre Performance Talk: Wed 18 June with Richard Langham Smith, Bizet specialist plus Geoff Summerton, ENO’s Technical Director.
The Pearl Fishers cast and creative team
Conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud
Director Penny Woolcock
Set Designer Dick Bird
Costume Designer Kevin Pollard
Lighting Designer Jen Schriever
Video Designer 59 Productions Ltd
Choreographer Andrew Dawson
Translator Martin Fitzpatrick
Leïla Sophie Bevan
Nadir John Tessier
Zurga George von Bergen
Nourabad Barnaby Rea