Lakmé, Act I, No. 2: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais

Occasionally I’ve listened to Colorado Public Radio’s online classical music stream lately, and have enjoyed their programming and insightful host commentary. That station was where I heard “Gather Round the Table” (posted here on May 10), and today I heard several bookmark-worthy pieces.

YouTube is another source of suggestions and is where I found a selection for today’s Classical Sunday post on the blog. 

“Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais” (“Flower Duet”) is from the opera Lakmé, by French Romantic composer Léo Delibes (1836-1891). Film, TV and TV advertising have used the duet section of the piece extensively; it starts at 1:05 in the video below, and I’m sure you’ll recognize it. 

I remember the duet from a scene in the 1983 Tony Scott film, The Hunger, when gerontologist Dr. Sarah Roberts (played by American actor Susan Sarandon) visits Miriam Blaylock (French actor Catherine Deneuve), whose vampire husband John is played by David Bowie (1947-2016).

The “Duo des fleurs” is a beautiful piece of music, lovely and calming after considerable frustration last night and again today with the much-anticipated livestream event by Glastonbury Music Festival I talk about in yesterday’s post. A technical issue denied access to thousands of people during the British and European stream. Many angry people! I encountered the same problem when trying to access the North American stream: it would not show the first 90 or more minutes of the concert, the part I mainly wanted to see (Wolf Alice as the opener, followed by Michael Kiwanuka). After some searching today, I managed to find a customer service person with the event promoter, who insisted the North American stream worked but tried to help me watch today’s entire “encore presentation.” It didn’t work either. The person promised to send an access link to the archive for those who could not view the event yesterday or today. I have faith all shall be well.

In today’s video, France’s Les Siècles Orchestra, conducted by François-Xavier Roth, accompanies French vocalists Sabine Devieilhe, coloratura soprano and Marianne Crebassa, mezzo-soprano. The piece also appears on Devieilhe’s 2017 album Mirages (though it is listed there as “Viens, Mallika”).

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video from the Warner Classics official YouTube channel

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