Before there were soap operas there were, well, operas. And among the best of these sexy spectacles, for real sensuousness rather than silliness, is The Pearl Fishers, by Bizet (of Carmen fame). Gone are the days when the sweet come-hithers of opera were voiced by mammoth singers who stood at the edge of the stage and belted; in recent years, opera has caught up to the rest of the entertainment world by putting its prettiest faces forward—and moving them around more. For its production, opening tomorrow at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota Opera has enlisted a couple of the hottest stars of the musical stage—Jesus Garcia, who won a Tony Award for his role in Baz Luhrmann’s Boheme on Broadway, and international thrush Isabel Bayrakdarian. Also helping out, like a classy kick line, are the lithe dancers of Zenon, clad in only the bare necessities by the London fashion queen Zandra Rhodes, who also designed the set.
And, oh yeah, the story: Two friends fall in love with same girl. You were expecting something else?