Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lakmé's 'Flower Duet'

Anna Netrebko (soprano) and Elina Garanca (mezzo-soprano) here perform "The Flower Duet" at the Baden-Baden Opera Gala in 2007.  
 
*************
Lakmé is a three-act opera that Léo Delibes composed and to which Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille wrote the French libretto. The opera itself is based on the novel Rarahu ou Le Mariage de Loti by Pierre Loti, and published in 1880. The Flower Duet (Sous le dôme épais), a famous duet for sopranos, takes place in Act 1 between characters Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.  

Lakmé, which is set in mid-nineteenth century India when it was a colony of Britain, captures the sense that Europe then had of the Orient. (A sypnosis can be found here.) The opera was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris on April 14, 1883.

Below are the lyrics to the duet, as supplied by About.com:

Sous le dôme épais

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.

Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante

Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.

Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!


[Flower Duet English Translation]
Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!
Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.

Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!

Under the thick dome where white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!

Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.

Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!

Léo Delibes [1836-1891]:
Photo Credit: Fritz Luckhardt (1843–1894). Taken in Vienna, Austria. This image is part of the Portrait Collection Friedrich Nicolas Manskopf at the library of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Source: Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.