Washington National Opera: Bizet's The Pearl Fishers
Saturday, September 20, 2008 - Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In Bizet's early opera, the prayers of virgin priestess Leila protect ancient Ceylon's fishermen until Chief Zurga jealously condemns her and Nadir to death. When Zurga realizes Leila is the woman who once saved his life, he makes the ultimate sacrifice.

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Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles)
Libretto by Eugène Cormon & Michel Carré

WNO explores the range of France's legendary Georges Bizet, beginning with this early opera. Set in ancient Ceylon, it tells the tale of Leila, who was once the love of both Zurga and Nadir. When she returns to the men's village as a priestess of Brahma, she provokes Zurga's jealousy by seeing Nadir. Zurga orders them both to death but allows them to escape at the last moment. Acclaimed Italian conductor Giuseppe Grazioli, French soprano Norah Amsellem (Leila), and American tenor Charles Castronovo (Nadir) make their company debuts, and former WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Trevor Scheunemann returns as Zurga. This lush, exotic opera comes to life in a dazzling production by British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. 

Performed in French with English supertitles.
NOTE: Supertitles not visible from the rear orchestra.
The performance runs approximately 2 hours, with one 20-minute intermission.

Single tickets go on sale at the KC Box Office on Aug. 6.

O-Zone Lecture: Free pre-performance lecture in the Opera House - Thursday, Sep. 25 at 6:15 p.m.
Patrons must present a ticket or stub from any performance of this production.

Artist Q&A Session follows the matinee performance on Sunday, Sep. 28.

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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.