The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles)

November 19. 2017 - December 10. 2017

Upcoming Dates

November 19. 2017 - December 10. 2017

New-to-Chicago Production The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles)


For sheer transcendent beauty, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers has few rivals in the entire repertoire. The opera’s famed duet for tenor and baritone is a soaring melody that has turned countless opera newcomers into ecstatic fans. Bizet (who composed this work 12 years before Carmen) transports us to Ceylon, where two devoted friends find themselves in love with the same woman, an entrancingly beautiful priestess, Leïla. From its leading men and leading lady, The Pearl Fishers demands the ultimate in vocal beauty and elegance to do justice to this sweepingly romantic drama.

  • Language: Sung in French with projected English translations
  • Running Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes with 1 intermission
  • Location: Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Pearl Fishers

by Georges Bizet

EMI recording — Cotrubas, Vanzo, Sarabia, cond. Prêtre.
Musical excerpts provided through a generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

“Au fond du temple saint”

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“Je crois entendre encore”

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“Me voilà seule…Comme autrefois”

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The Pearl Fishers

by Georges Bizet

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

© 2017/18 Lyric Opera Commentaries Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of Warner Music Group. All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
A project of the Women’s Board


This story of love, betrayal, and sacrifice centers around two friends, Nadir and Zurga, who have vowed to never let the love of a woman come between them. However, when a beautiful priestess arrives their vows are put to the test and each man must make his choice. Enjoy lush music and lively dance in Lyric’s production of this captivating romance that tests the bonds of friendship. 

TIME and PLACE: 19th-century Ceylon.

Program book

Go inside this production of The Pearl Fishers with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.

View Digital Program Book

Meet The Artists

* Lyric Opera debut
** Ryan Opera Center alumnus

Lyric presentation of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers generously made possible by

Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel

With additional support from an Anonymous Donor

Matthew Polenzani's appearance is generously sponsored by Patricia A. Kenney and Gregory J. O'Leary.

Production owned by San Diego Opera.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg