"From the Bel Canto Opera production of Lakme, a clip of the last couple of the dances performed as part of the celebration of the Durga Puja festival in West Bengal, during the time of the British Raj." Conducted by William Bell
Nilakantha, disguised as a Sadhu (a holy wanderer), brings his daughter Lakme to the chowk to discover and get revenge on the British officer who has defiled his Brahman temple by entering and having a forbidden tryst with Lakme.
"Lakmé is an opera in three acts by Léo Delibes to a French libretto by Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille, based on the 1880 novel Rarahu ou Le Mariage de Loti by Pierre Loti. The subject of the opera was suggested by Gondinet as a vehicle for the American soprano Marie van Zandt. Delibes wrote the score during 1881-82. Like many other French operas of the late 19th century, Lakmé captures the ambience of the Orient that was in vogue during the latter part of the nineteenth century; Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and Massenet's Le roi de Lahore being two other examples.
The story is set in the late nineteenth century British Raj in India. Many Hindus have been forced by the British to practice their religion in secret. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakm%C3%A9
Natalie Dessay and Elsa Maurus perform "Viens, Malika [The Flower Duet]" at the Opéra Comica de Paris:
Here is a review of Leo Delibes’ Lakme, which was perfomed by Michigan Opera Theatre, May 2002:
The pure divine fragrance of love (forbidden love) forms the theme of Lakmé - a Michigan Opera Theatre presentation. A beautiful but rarely performed opera, Lakméis set in exotic nineteenth century India and features a musical score that's sensuous, elegant and graceful. The performance is an ideal vehicle that showcased a coloratura soprano that includes the ravishing aria "The Bell Song" and the entrancing "Flower Duet", influenced by both the Italian bel canto school and French grand operas of the mid 1800's.
Thanks for the compliments, Nitaiji. It is a great pleasure to share famous classics within a CV community; not that I am super keen about Operas, but here and there are some Operas with topics that I consider attracting. In terms of the music, in reality, we all have been listening to the "Flower Duet" on TV advertisings. The "Flower Duet" was the musical theme predominantly used by British Airways in commercials on Radio and TV that you probably remember from the early 90’.
In other words, if there is anyone educating us here; let’s praise the French compositor, Léo Delibes. Tchaikovsky was just one among many feverous admires. The immortal Lakme was his last Opera, written in 1883. "Delibes' work is known to have been a great influence on composers such as Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Debussy. His ballet Sylvia was of special interest to Tchaikovsky."
Here is something interesting to do. If by chance you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or know someone, who live there and would be interested to watch the Opera Lakme, here is a great opportunity. The performances will be on stage Feb 23, 29/ Mar 2, 2008. I really wish I could go, but it is simply impossible; I am about 2500 miles away.