Music with Ease > 19th Century French Opera > Djamileh - Bizet
An Opera by Georges Bizet
"Djamileh," produced at the Opéra Comique, is in one act, words by Louis Gallet, based on Alfred de Mussets poem, "Namouna." The scene is Cairo, the time mediaeval.
Djamileh, a beautiful slave, is in love with her master, Prince Haroun, a Turkish nobleman, who is tired of her and is about to sell her. The persuades his secretary, Splendiano, who is in love with her, to aid her in regaining her masters affections. She will marry Splendiano if she fails.
According, with the secretarys aid, when the slave dealer arrives, she is, in disguise, among the slaves offered to Haroun. She dances. Haroun is entranced, and immediately buys her. When she discloses her identity, and pleads that her ruse was prompted by her love for him, he receives her back into his affections.
Djamileh is for mezzo-soprano, the mens roles for tenor. Besides the dance, there are a duet for the men, "Que lesclave soit brune ou blonde" (Let the slave be dark or fair); a trio, "Je voyais au loin la mer sétendre" (The distant sea have I beheld extending); and the chorus, "Quelle est cette belle" (Who is the charmer).