Season & Tickets

The Pearl Fishers

Audience Reaction

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Credit - Video footage and editing by Matt Holmes


The Seattle Times

A polished Pearl Fishers bring magic to McCaw Hall. This [opera] is every bit as wonderful as Carmen…with superbly committed performances from all three of the participants in the love triangle at the center of the plot. Beth Kirchoff’s chorus…was both musically and dramatically impeccable. … The dancers carried out Peggy Hickey’s brilliant choreography with stunning virtuosity. … Mary Dunleavy sang with impressive freedom and moved well. … Few tenors could match [William Burden’s] combination of athleticism, finely focused tone and sheer charm. All was enhanced enormously by orchestral playing of the highest caliber. Gerard Schwarz marshaled his forces to perfection. … I can only conclude by urging anyone with the slightest interest in opera to buy a ticket forthwith. This is a production that justifies Seattle Opera’s claim to be one of the world’s finest companies. A must-hear, must-see production for anyone susceptible to musical genius and romantic enchantment. Magical is the word that sums it up best.”
-Bernard Jacobson, The Seattle Times
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Cast displays the wonderfully smooth voices of a rare Pearl.. Bizet’s [opera] is filled with so much smooth-limbed, richly colored lyricism even those with a sweet tooth with be satisfied. … There are two casts of principals, all of whom look good in various states of undress. They can also sing. Neil Peter Jampolis’ lighting design is evocative and effective, which went a long distance in creating atmosphere. The fight elements, directed by Geoffrey Alm, were excellent. Gerard Schwarz led the orchestra with an eye for detail but did not ignore the sweep of Bizet’s music. He made no attempt to dampen Bizet’s overt romanticism, and so it flowed easily and handsomely."
-R.M. Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Seattle Weekly

"French Confection: Seattle Opera lingers over Bizet’s dreamy fairy tale. The Pearl Fishers is full of exotic color, spice and fluent melody. Conductor Gerard Schwarz made a good match for the wistful, otherworldly fairy tale, pacing the set pieces beautifully to enhance this floaty, once-upon-a-time mood. … Lots of extra dancers fire up Bizet’s frequent crowd scenes. The production design [features] a picture-postcard lagoon…and a revival of the aerial technology that makes the Rhinemaidens swim in Seattle Opera’s Ring. … They’ve confected a very tasty treat."
-Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly
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Northwest Reverb

Seattle Opera dove into the luxurious waters of Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and came to the surface with a beautiful gem.. … Outstanding acting, scenery, choreography, and singing gave this production plenty of enchantment. … Mary Dunleavy was exceptional in the role of Leila, William Burden sang with grace and conviction, and Christopher Feigum’s gorgeous baritone was a pleasure to hear. … This production benefitted from scenery which wonderfully evoked the mystery of the orient. … The transparency of the sea scrim was especially effective when the fishermen would dive and swim across the sea that extended from the proscenium to the stage floor. … Stage direction by Kay Walker Castaldo was splendid in every aspect, the imaginative choreography of Peggy Hickey enhanced the production as well. Principal dancers Bobby Briscoe and Lisa Gillespie were superb and fun to watch.”
-James Bash, Northwest Reverb
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Photo Credit

2009 The Pearl Fishers © Rozarii Lynch photo