Sunday, February 15, 2009

Viens Malika

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 story is set in India in the mid nineteenth century when the British were suppressing many religious sects. This clip is from the Sydney Opera House, performance of the Australian Opera conducted by Richard Bonynge with Joan Sutherland as priestesse Lakme and Huguette Tourangeau as Malika, her servant.

Its complex melodies are Delibes' signature. Viens, Mallika, Dome epais... (The Flower Duet) in Act 1 is the most familiar music from this opera because of its use in advertisements, as well as in films (one of which is The Hunger, with vampire Catherine DeNeuve and victim Susan Sarandon where this melody is beautifully introduced in piano.) British Airways TV Commercial theme is widely known as they used this famous duet in an ad, but I think United airlines used it first way back in the 70's.

If you hear some annoying clicks, it's not your system. They come from the software I use and one of these days, I will fix this problem. The video is a bit dark, from the original recording.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I hope you do like Opera. Well, if you don't, you must like movies like the Fifth Element. What do they have in common? The scene you may be watching if you click on the photo below. This is one very famous scene in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, sung by Dame Joan Sutherland, no less. It is the well known "Mad Scene" that inspired the also famous "Diva" scene in the Fifth Element movie with Bruce Willis. But this is the real thing... So, enjoy. It's 13:48 minutes long and I think well worth your time. You may learn to like opera after all. It's different!