Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- Wizards in Winter

Beautiful Operatic Duet Between Two Men

The famous duet from The Pearl Fishers "Au fond du temple saint" is considered to be a love song between two men.

npr music: The Pearl Fishers by Bizet was written in 1863.  Today we don't hear it all that often, and its reputation is based mainly on the beautiful tenor-baritone duet in the first act. That number has become a concert showpiece, and it was even performed at Bizet's own funeral service.

The Pearl Fishers is in three acts, all set on the island then called Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka, off the coast of India. ACT ONE opens in a village of pearl divers, or pearl fishers. The fishermen elect Zurga as their tribal chief, promising him their loyalty. A hunter named Nadir shows up. He's been gone for several years and asks the men if they'll take him back.

Then comes the famous, "Au fond du temple saint" — "Deep in the holy temple." Zurga and Nadir are old friends, and they remember their last time together. They had visited the great temple, and both men fell in love with a beautiful woman who was leading a ceremony. Knowing this woman might come between them, they renounced her and pledged their eternal friendship.