On Saturday I attended the opening night of “The Pearl Fishers” – George Bizet’s 1863 opera taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.
I went with my friend Rosa, who is an opera buff and always fills me in on what is good and what is not. The Pearl Fishers; a good Opera, is here in Vancouver until October 30th.
The opera is an aquired taste. Going to the opera is either a love or hate relationship for most people – unlike the storyline involved in most operas where love and hate coexist. I’m somewhat in the middle. If the sets are beautiful, if the costumes are exotic and the music is wonderful (and of course the singing is always excellent) then I’m happy. But like going to a foreign film where you have to read the subtitles to know what they’re talking about, in an opera our eyes tend to wander up and down between the stage and reading the lines high above the stage to find out what exactly they’re trying to convey. Things happen fast in opera land. It’s emotionally charged and super dramatic. Obviously over the top to make sure the point gets across, but with soulful song and dance. And simply gorgeous costumes.
If you want my simple synopsis of this opera, think Popeye the Sailor Man and his old muscular navy buddy Bluto whose friendship ends due to their rivalry over Olive Oyl. Maybe this is how bullying began – on the account of a woman.
Emily Cooper Photography
If you want the real synopsis here is the overview taken from the opera website:
The Pearl Fishers returns to Vancouver Opera for the first time in nearly 30 years. Directed by Vancouver favourite Rachel Peake, this dramatic opera tells the tale of two devoted friends and the woman that comes between them. The famous “friendship duet”, Au fond du temple saint, is one of the most beautiful and recognizable pieces in the opera repertoire. Be swept away by the lush orchestration and Bizet’s trademark melodies.
Do you see the similarity but different?
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