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The Pearl Fishers: Melbourne Opera

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by Gwen O'Toole-Luscombe (subscribe)
Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
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For the opera lover
With my limited opera experience, I attended the opening night of Melbourne Opera's The Pearl Fishers expecting to spend the evening trying to suss out exactly what was going on as it would be, what I incorrectly assumed, in French.

Melbourne Opera, The pearl Fishers, Athenaeum theatre
Melbourne Opera presents The Peral Fishers. Image credit: Matt Deller

Pleasantly surprised that this experience would be far easier to understand than I initially thought, my guest and I settled in for quite the experience as the show began.

The Pearl Fishers, (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) was composed in three acts by Georges Bizet, his first operatic success which later led to productions such as Carmen.

Melbourne Opera, The pearl Fishers, Athenaeum theatre
The Pearl Fishers tells the story of a friendship tested by a love triangle. Image credit: Matt Deller

Held for just a short season from 19-30 September at The Athenaeum Theatre and again on 4 October at Monash University's Alexander Theatre, this show is expertly conducted by Richard Divall who's conducted over a dozen productions of the opera over a period of more than 35 years.

Set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon, the opera tells the story of how a vow of eternal friendship between two men is threatened by their love for the same woman: a woman who has taken her own sacred and chaste vow as a priestess.

The cast includes some of Melbourne's most powerful singers including sopranos Lee Abrahmsen and Barbara Zavros playing Leila, priestess of Brahma and tenors Brenton Spiteri and Robert Barbaro sharing the role of fisherman Nadir.

Playing Zurga, the head fisherman and third element of the love triangle are Phillip Calcagno and Michael Lampard. Eddie Muliaumaseali'i and Matthew Thomas perform the role of Nourabad, the high priest of Brahma.

Lee, Barbara and Brenton are the three most recent winners of Australia's most prestigious singing competition, the Herald Sun Aria.

The Athenaeum Theatre is an intimate venue space, meaning that even those who book tickets late are still certain to get fabulous seats.

Tickets to this production are available via Ticketek. For more information check out the website.

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Why? Enjoy some of Melbourne's finest voices
When: September 19th - October 4th
Where: The Athenaeum Theatre
Cost: Starting from $25.49- $99.91
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