The Pirates of Penzance, 2017. Photo by Cory Weaver.

The Pearl Fishers

Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Friday, May 3, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Sunday, May 5, 2019 | 2:00 PM

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Composer: Georges Bizet | Librettists: Eugene Cormon & Michel Carre
Conductor: Antony Walker | Director: Andrew Sinclair 
Production Designer: Zandra Rhodes

Approximate running time is 2 hours, 45 minutes with one intermissions.

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Passion. Betrayal. Vengeance. Just Another Day In Paradise.

Two old friends, one a simple pearl diver and the other a powerful island chieftain, are unexpectedly reunited with the woman whose beauty nearly destroyed their friendship. This “goddess among us” is a veiled priestess who wards off storms and evil spirits through a life of solitude and celibacy. To break her vow means certain death, but she and the young pearl diver fan the flames of a fiery forbidden love anyway. That’s when the storm really hits the sand.

The chieftain, picking through what’s left of his village and his heart, must condemn both his best friend and his greatest desire to death. But the priestess has one final trick left up her sari.

This sensuous staging of Bizet’s exotic pre-Carmen classic explodes with expressive patterns and extravagant colors created by fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

Sung in French with English subtitles. 


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Photo Gallery

  • The Pearl Fishers. Photo by Elise Bakketun, Courtesy of Seattle Opera
    The Pearl Fishers. Photo by Elise Bakketun, Courtesy of Seattle Opera


Leila – Maeve Höglund *
Maeve Höglund is making her Lyric Opera debut. In the 2017-18 season, Höglund debuts at Opera Philadelphia as Lola in the world premiere of David Hertzberg’s The Wake World. She also made her Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and was concert soloist in Messiah with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Engagements in 2016-17 included Musetta in La bohème with Charleston Opera, Margaret Hughes in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players with Little Opera Theatre of New York, and Arminda in La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera’s co-production with Atlanta Opera. In the 2015-16 season, Maeve debuted with PORTopera as Frasquita in Carmen, and with Long Beach Opera in Jacob Ter Veldhuis’s The News. She also sang Giunia in Lucio Silla for her Chicago Opera Theater debut and was soloist in Carmina Burana with Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  Previously, Höglund toured London with Wynton Marsalis, performing his Mass with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Nadir – Sean Panikkar
Sean Panikkar returns to Lyric Opera after appearing as Nikolaus Sprink in Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Silent Night (2015).  2017-18 season engagements include a Salzburg Festival debut as Dionysus in a new production of The Bassarids, Don José in a production of Carmen with Madison Opera, and a role debut at Pittsburgh Opera as Greenhorn in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick. Additional appearances of the season included David Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK with Opéra de Montréal, and Handel’s Messiah with the Ann Arbor Symphony. In 2016-17, Panikkar returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfe in Guillaume Tell and as Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette; at Pittsburgh Opera he created the role of Wendell Smith in the world premiere of Daniel Sonenberg and Daniel Nester’s The Summer King. Panikkar is a member of Forte, the operatic tenor group combining voices from different cultures. The trio debuted on the television show America’s Got Talent.

Zurga – John Moore *
John Moore is making his Lyric Opera debut. A graduate of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, his 2017-18 season includes a return to Seattle Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville and role debuts of Hannah Before in As One with Des Moines Metro Opera and Johannes “Pa” Zegner in Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Proving Up with Opera Omaha. He finishes the season by joining the Glyndebourne Festival as Achilla in Giulio Cesare. 2016-17 saw Moore in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia, singing the role of Jan, a role he later reprised with Beth Morrison Projects. He also appeared at The Metropolitan Opera as Moralès in Carmen, and Seattle Opera as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, and the Santa Cruz Symphony as Figaro in The Barber of Seville.

Nourabad – Christian Zaremba
Christian Zaremba is making his Lyric Opera debut. In the 2017-18 season, Zaremba debuted with The Metropolitan Opera as Angelotti in Tosca, Austin Opera as Zuniga in Carmen, and with Michigan Opera Theatre as Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Zaremba’s engagements in the 2016-17 season included performing Master Fal in the US premiere of La mère coupable with On Site Opera, and Colline in La bohème with Opera Omaha and for his Portland Opera debut. He also appeared as soloist in Portland Opera’s “Big Night” opera gala and joined their production of David Lang and Mac Wellman’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field and Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion. In 2015-16, Zaremba sang Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West with Opera Omaha, and Commendatore in Don Giovanni with New York’s Venture Opera. As a Resident artist with Minnesota Opera, his performances included General Tracy in the world premiere of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate.

* Lyric Opera Debut
+ LOKC Resident Artist
~ LOKC Young Artist
@ Former LOKC Young Artist


Creative Team

Conductor – Antony Walker *
Director – Andrew Sinclair *
Set Designer – Zandra Rhodes *
Costume Designer – Zandra Rhodes *
Lighting Designer – Ronald Vodicka *
Choreographer – John Malashock *

* Lyric Opera Debut

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