The Pearlfishers

The Pearlfishers – Bizet

‘…there is little a translator can do except reproduce the plonking clichés of the original – which Amanda Holden bravely does in her new version.’
The Times

AH: Of the three Bizet translations I have written, this was the first. I know of no other composer whose librettos are so amazingly diverse.  This translation – perhaps the hardest of the three as it’s the least good libretto – was commissioned by English Touring Opera for their production in 1996.

The cast included Adrian Clarke and  Nicholas Sharratt;  it was conducted by Andrew Greenwood and directed by Caroline Gawn.

ETO programme, 1996

from the Duet – Au fond du temple saint…

NADIR

And from the golden door,
a veil upon her brow,
a woman appeared,
I think I see her now.

The crowd on bended knee
wonders who she can be,
they are murmuring thus:
`Look there, it is the goddess
who appears, fair and modest,
showering blessings on us.’

ZURGA

Her veil lifts in the breeze…
Oh!  It’s a glimpse of heaven!
The people fall to their knees.

ZURGA] We have seen a vision of beauty,
NADIR] pure perfection, heavenly grace

we have seen a vision of beauty,
who descends from above.
That veil lifts in the breeze…
and the crowd is on its knees.

NADIR

She is gone!
But, straight away in my heart,
there’s a strange obsession burning.

ZURGA

I am consumed by a yearning.

BOTH 

And Fate has wrenched us apart…
etc.

see also:
Recordings: Sir Thomas Allen Recital disc

Musician and Writer