Lakmé

Programming / Opera

Lakmé is an opera set in the India of yesteryear, where the British had established their empire, their companies and their soldiers.
It’s an opera written by a Frenchman of the past, Leo Delibes- and so, too happy the guy to have such a nice opportunity to talk about those neighbors we hate to adore.

Therefore, and above all, Lakmé is the name of a young Indian girl – necessarily beautiful as the most beautiful day – necessarily radiant – necessarily sweet: Lakmé is the idea of the angel, when the angel becomes woman.

Lakmé is not a very well known opera – I grant you that.
It has a little “easy romance” side – that’s true.
The ending is sad, because it’s so easy to make people cry over the misfortunes of true lovers – it’s always true.

It is probably because of this too easy romance that Lakmé is not the best known opera.
But it does have a few tunes that are absolutely beautiful and that I wanted to share with you :

The Flower Duet is an aria in two voices, just splendid, between Lakmé and her maid who was a friend , who both go to meet the world of spring, and marvel at everything: they go to pick flowers to decorate the temple and life is resplendent.
And when the world shines and revives, it is also a time of encounters and fiery love for humans.
So while the girls sing, the men enter – alas, she is Hindu and he is English.
Alas, she is a Brahmin’s daughter and this Brahmin hates the English without limit.
Alas the two meet and adore each other.

He will force his daughter to sing in public – the lover will not be able to resist the voice of his beloved – and the father immediately stabs the insolent : here is this song, splendidly interpreted by Nathalie Dessay.

Do you think this was the end?
Not at all.
She takes care of her beloved – she hides him – she saves him.
And this is where we fall into the tasteless romanticism – since, her beloved friend saved, what does she do? She kills herself, so she doesn’t oppose her daddy and she will never love anyone but her lover.
Okay – the ending is just there to make us cry.

But for the duet of the flowers, for the air of the bells, for all the joy that the author did not manage to contain and that bursts out everywhere in this work, of course it is necessary to create Lakmé – and then to cry a little, it is not serious – especially when we know that the end is a big cheat and that, if there had been a true end, it would have been happier for the lovers.

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Featured Image : Lakmé – by Opera Royal de Wallonie

12 Thoughts

    1. 🙂 Hello Francisco
      Thank you for your comment – I’m not sure it’s very Indian, as an opera – it’s a bit like Carmen – they are operas written from afar, with the ideas of romantic Frenchmen about countries they know… in a literary way! – but there are some very beautiful passages in it, which are worth the detour.

      Liked by 2 people

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