Chelsea Opera Group’s performance of Lakmé by Léo Delibes offers the rare treat of hearing the work, popular from excerpts but only infrequently put on stage, in its entirety.
Set in a time of British repression of Indian religious practices, Delibes sets out a classic story of forbidden love between cultures. Goddess-like Lakmé falls in love with the poetically minded British officer Gérald and saves him after a vengeful attack by her Brahmin priest father Nilakantha. However, when Gérald must return to Britain, Lakmé takes her own life.
Delibes’ score is filled with delightful melodies and orchestral colours, though the gorgeous Flower Duet from Act 1 and the dizzying virtuosity of the Bell Song in Act 2 are essential listening for anyone interested in opera.
The conductor will be Matthew Scott Rogers. The cast includes Haegee Lee as Lakmé, Elgan Llŷr Thomas as Gérald, James Platt as Nilakantha, Julien Van Mellaerts as Frédéric, Polly Leech as Mallika, Lorena Paz Nieto as Miss Ellen, Caroline Carragher as Miss Rose, Sarah Pring as Mistress Bentson and Magnus Walker as Hadji.
There will be a pre-performance talk at 4:45pm in the hall free for ticket holders.
Tickets are on sale at Cadogan Hall.