The Pearl Fishers (2003)

This version of The Pearl Fishers is set in classical Ceylon in a community of pearl fishermen…but the story is universal: the king and his friend make the fatal mistake of falling in love with the same girl, a priestess named Leila.

Production Details

August 28 – September 7th, 2003.
Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.

Composer: Georges Bizet.
Conductor: Greg Hocking & John Dingle.
Director: Plamen Kartaloff

Following the sold-out triumph of La Traviata in June 2003, Melbourne Opera’s next production was a brand new production of Bizet’s ever-popular The Pearlfishers. This was the first Australian performance of Bizet’s original version of 1863.

Sung in English, The Pearl Fishers features some of the best loved music in all opera, including the memorable duet In the depths of the temple, Leila’s aria, and the magnificent Brahma chorus.

This new production was directed by Plamen Kartaloff, designed by Kaoru Alfonso, conducted by John Dingle and Greg Hocking, and featured the acclaimed 45-voice Melbourne Opera Chorus and Orchestra along with a cast of extraordinary Australian singers.


Leila — Ebony Hack & Elena Xanthoudakis
Nadir — James Egglestone & Stephen Smith
Zurga — Roger Howell & Manfred Pohlenz
Nourabad — Piers Bray, Tim Daly & David Gould
Jacob Caine
Rebecca Crabtree
Peter Donnelly
Brendan Egan
Marie Finne
Peter Grant
Sue Halls
John Handley
Kathy Hatton
Mark Henderson
Fatih Karakas
Seija Knight
Alex McCutcheon
Helena Nicolaou
Bernard Nolan Bryan O’Connell
Josh Perillo
Rodney Phillips
Taso Psychoulas
Kylie Purcell
Robert Ratcliffe
Camila Rivera
Sue Robertson
Roland Seidl
Katrina Soucoultanos
Rachel Sztanski
Erica Taylor
Lynda Watkins
Cecily Woodberry
David Woodberry