(Les pêcheurs de perles)

by Georges Bizet
Sung in French with projected English translations


The Pearl Fishers Opera Overview

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.
“Mr. Kwiecień is an ideal Zurga [and] Mr. Polenzani makes a poignantly believable Nadir. Their ardent, soaring performance... brought fresh urgency to the familiar music.”
The New York Times



Production owned by San Diego Opera.

Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes with 1 intermission



Photo: Ken Howard/San Diego Opera

The Pearl Fishers Opera Resources

Join us in the theater one hour before the curtain rises for a free, 30-minute preview talk about the opera. Learn more about pre-opera talks.


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. 

Rigoletto at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Audio Highlights

Georges Bizet

EMI recording -- Cotrubas, Vanzo, Sarabia, cond. Prêtre.

“Au fond du temple saint”

“Je crois entendre encore”

“Me voilà seule…Comme autrefois”


Opera Commentary

commentary by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Jack Zimmerman

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The Pearl Fishers at Lyric Opera

Season of Delights

The celebrated tenor-baritone duet from Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is only one of this opera’s glorious highlights. This beautiful opera that is set on the shores of ancient Ceylon returns to Lyric in a spectacularly colorful production.

Read More
Music for The Pearl Fishers provided by through generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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

Photos: Ken Howard/San Diego Opera, Elise Bakketun/Seattle Opera