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Subject: Les Pêcheurs de Perles
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 5 May 2017 01:16:04 -0400

text/plain (56 lines)

1) Heather Macdonald:

>If Georges Bizet had not composed Carmen—one of the three or four greatest
operas ever written—perhaps his earlier opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The
Pearl Fishers), would be better known. As it is, however, this hauntingly
beautiful work has remained at the margins of the repertoire; indeed, the
Metropolitan Opera’s last staging of the piece was in 1916. The Met has
finally corrected that century-long lacuna with a new production that
opened on New Year’s Eve. The musical values, thanks to a stellar cast and
conductor were superb, revealing the mesmerizing melodic richness of this
neglected gem. A listener encountering The Pearl Fishers for the first time
in the Met’s new staging can only exclaim: “Where have you been all my

2) Mark Berry:

>Devotees of *The Pearl Fishers*: perhaps you should avert your eyes now.
If it is a work you love and/or admire, nothing I might say about it will
convince you otherwise, quite the contrary. Nor do I harbour any wish to do
so. However, coming to it for the first time, I can only say that it must
rank amongst the worst few non-Verdi, non-Donizetti operas I have seen from
the benighted ‘repertoire’. That is not a comment on the production, dire
though it may be; it is not a comment on the mixed bag of musical
performances. The work ‘itself’, though, is something whose alleged
attractions I cannot begin to discern.... *Carmen* it is not; even the
blandest of bland Micaëla’s music seems red in tooth and claw compared to
anything heard here. Indeed, the best music, such as it was, seemed to lie
in the couple of minutes or so of very straightforward orchestral
introduction, its slight promise ever remaining unfulfilled.


It does seem that Heather Macdonald is puffing the work up more than a


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