Bizet: Les Pecheurs de Perles / Bloch, Lille National Orchestra

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Les Pêcheurs de perles is best known for its glorious duet, but Georges Bizet’s opera has much more to offer. This live recording more than ever brings out the brilliance of this oriental story about love, duty and friendship. In the last 150 years, Bizet’s piece has mainly been heard in editions that stray from the composer’s original composition. This album – on the contrary - offers the first recording in history of the 1863 premiere version, reconstructed and published by Bärenreiter in 2015. Les Pêcheurs de perles contains a quintessentially French blend of lyricism, exoticism and drama, and the four soloists (Julie Fuchs as Leïla, Cyrille Dubois as Nadir, Florian Sempey as Zurga and Luc Bertin-Hugault as Nourabad) belong to today’s best performers for this specialist repertoire. Their vocal excellence is matched by the choral contributions of Les Cris de Paris. The rich sound palette of Les Pêcheurs is fully brought to life by the inspired playing of the Orchestre National de Lille under the baton of its new Music Director Alexandre Bloch.



Dubois is distinctly French in the timbre of his voice and his singing style, and Fuchs is lyrical when required and her coloratura is formidable. The vocal honors really belong to the chorus, Les Cris de Paris. Here’s committed singing that reminds us that Bizet’s story is not just about passion and jealousy but also about a community clinging to the shoreline in search of a perilous and uncertain livelihood.

– BBC Music Magazine

Bloch conducts the Orchestre National de Lille in a vivid account of the score, with muscular playing driving the faster music (a terrific storm) and the exotic dance numbers. But it’s the casting of the central trio of characters where this recording triumphs, with no grit in the musical oyster. Dubois is an outstanding Nadir, and Fuchs’s Leïla is no less delectable. Sempey is a superb Zurga.

– Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: PTC5186685

  • UPC: 827949068560

  • Label: Pentatone

  • Composer: Georges Bizet

  • Conductor: Alexandre Bloch

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Cris de Paris, Lille National Orchestra

  • Performer: Cyrille Dubois, Florian Sempey, Julie Fuchs, Luc Bertin-hugault


  1. Les pêcheurs de perles

    Composer: Georges Bizet

    Ensemble: Les Cris de Paris, Lille National Orchestra

    Performer: Luc Bertin-hugault (Bass), Cyrille Dubois (Tenor), Julie Fuchs (Soprano), Florian Sempey (Baritone)

    Conductor: Alexandre Bloch