A Duet for Flowers

Léo Delibes (1836 –1891) was a French composer, best known for his ballets and operas.  His works include the ballets Coppélia and Sylvia, both of which were important in the development of modern ballet.

Delibes achieved critical and commercial success in 1883 with his opera Lakmé. Its somewhat unlikely subject was the contemporary British occupation of India. In Act 1, there is a duet for a soprano and mezzo-soprano, performed by Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest and her servant Mallika.

I bet everyone has heard part of this duet but not many know its origin. I didn’t until a few days ago. In the YouTube video I’ve been playing, the music becomes very recognizable around one minute in. The singers, Sabine Devieilhe and Marianne Crebassa, revisit that part at the end (it’s from Devieilhe’s 2017 album Mirages).

Unfortunately, the video won’t play if I put it here, so you’ll have to follow this link to see and hear their brief performance. It’s worth the trip.

PS: Kick all the Republicans out in November.