The subject of the opera - which has a contemporary setting - is in fact the colonialism of the British army in India , focusing on their poor attitudes towards Indian cultural systems and the Hindu religion. It was suggested by Gondinet as a vehicle for the American soprano Marie van Zandt. The Hindus go to perform their rites in a sacred Brahmin temple under the high priest, Nilakantha. However, simultaneously, she is intrigued and so she sends away those who had responded to her call for help when they come to her rescue. She dies with honour, rather than live with dishonour, killing herself by eating the poisonous datura leaf. In conventional form and pleasant style, but given over to the fashion for exoticism, the delicate orchestration and melodic richness earned Delibes a success with audiences.
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A small party of English ladies and officers of the British army find their way thither while strolling about for amusement. Here is one of the most famous versions:. The plan succeeds. There as he recovers, his passion for her increases, and all else, including his former love, seems forgotten.
Indeed, if the sale were challenged on the grounds of infringing the Trades Descriptions Act, I would not be surprised. Hush, tish, and pibble. Grand opera, you will remember, O Best Beloved, is a serious work in five sometimes four acts, sung throughout; often on a historical theme; with plenty of spectacle, impressive orchestral and choral forces, virtuoso singing, and at least one ballet, usually in the third act.
Typical stories include revolutions, popular uprisings, massacres, executions, excommunications, and natural disasters. It is lighter than grand opera, but not necessarily comic. Nothing, though, to shock the bourgeoisie; this was a family theatre, attended by respectable matrons and daughters. The heroine dies — violently — and the characters are smugglers, gypsies, bull-fighters, and other lowlifes. Compare here and here. The comic quintet that reminded a fuming Forman of Gilbert and Sullivan is also in the tradition of Auber.
Like, for example, this. He had made his name. The opera soon travelled around the world. Every coloratura soprano wanted to show off her voice in the Bell Song. The post-war world has had less time for it. But the work itself has largely fallen from the repertoire. The music is lovely. I do, though, prefer the sinuous conspiracy chorus that follows. Sydney, Monte Carlo, Paris, Toulouse, View all posts by nickfuller.
This is great, a balance between praise and critique, with a lot of history thrown in. The opera is musically lovely, lush, and whimsical from beginning to end the relationship of British Airways with the Flower Duet confirms this , but the story does lack dramatic drive and the character motivations barely make it to the final curtain without wearing out their relevance.
It is a shame, however, that I would need to fly to Oman or Bulgaria to attend a performance. Thank you Sidney opera house broadcast from ! Like Liked by 1 person. Like Like. Oh, how interesting, Oedipus is always fun! Yeah, I have Il Pirata partially done. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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Catalog Record: Libretto, Lakmé : Opera in three acts | HathiTrust Digital Library
Published by Fred Rullman, Inc. Seller Rating:. About this Item: Fred Rullman, Inc. Soft Cover. Condition: Fair.
81. Lakmé (Léo Delibes)