September, 29th 1863, was when the famous lyrics “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” aka the “Pearl Fishers” were produced at the Theatre Lyrics in Paris. Recited and performed by Carré and Cormon and composed by Georges Bizet, the opera act stole the hearts of opera and poetic lovers all over the world.
About the Pearl Fishers
The Pearl Fishers is a 3-act play revolving around two male best friends (Zurga and Nadir) trying to woo a princess (Leila). During the curtain raise of the first act, you can see pearl fisher’s characters who settle on Zurga as their chief. Both men play a duet called “Ïn the Depths of the Temple,” showing their rivalry for the damsel and how they regretted their decision to never set their eyes on her.
The second act shows a temple beyond ruins, where a high priest (Nourabad) makes Leila swear that she will never abandon her religious values, to which she agrees. After the priest retires, Nadir shows up, creating a love interest with Leila. The priest’s unexpected return shocks both men. Zurga promises to hand over Leila to Nadir. However, Nourabad wants to hear none of this and decides to pass a death sentence upon the trio.
In the third act, Leila volunteers to die as long as Nadir stays alive. The necklace she is wearing compels the priest to have a change of heart. As the trio of lovers is escorted to their place of execution, Zurga sets them free and sets the camp ablaze.
At first, the newspapers at the time did not find the Pearl Fishers interesting. It was only after Bizet’s death that it has become a regular theatre play and was recognized in most places across the world.