Accompanied by the period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles under its founder, François-Xavier Roth, French operatic soprano Sabine Devieilhe and French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa perform “The Flower Duet” (French: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais), a famous duet for sopranos from Léo Delibes’ in three acts, Lakmé.

Soprano Sabine Devieilhe’s signature operatic role, Lakmé, forms the starting point for her enticing album Mirages. A collection of opera and song in French, its theme is the exotic allure of faraway – and imagined – places and people. In addition to three numbers from Delibes’ opera, it features music by Berlioz, Debussy and Stravinsky and some rarer names: Thomas, Messager, Koechlin and Delage. Devieilhe is joined by mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, pianist Alexandre Tharaud and the period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles under its founder, François-Xavier Roth.

The popular Flower Duet (Sous le dôme épais) for sopranos performed in Act 1 by Lakmé (first performed in Paris in 1883), the daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika.

Sabine Devieilhe

Sabine Devieilhe (born 12 December 1985) is a French operatic coloratura soprano.

On 25 February 2013, Sabine Devieilhe was named “Révélation Artiste Lyrique” at the Victoires de la musique classique.

On 2 February 2015, she was voted “Lyric Artist of the Year” at the Victoires de la musique classique.

Asteroid 33346 Sabinedevieilhe was named in her honor. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 31 January 2018 (M.P.C. 108697).

Marianne Crebassa

Marianne Crebassa (born 14 December 1986 in Béziers) is a French mezzo-soprano.

In 2017, Crebassa’s first commercial recording, Oh Boy!, was released on the Erato label. In August 2017, she made her debut at The Proms.

On October 20, 2017, she released an album titled “Secrets” with the Turkish pianist Fazıl Say.

Flower Duet lyrics (text)

French lyrics

Lakmé: Dôme épais le jasmin
Mallika: Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin

L.: À la rose s’assemble,
M.: À la rose s’assemble,

L.: Rive en fleurs, frais matin,
M.: Sur la rive en fleurs, riant au matin,

L.: Nous appellent ensemble.
M.: Viens, descendons ensemble.

L.: Ah! glissons en suivant
M.: Doucement glissons; De son flot charmant

L.: Le courant fuyant;
M.: Suivons le courant fuyant;

L.: Dans l’onde frémissante,
M.: Dans l’onde frémissante,

L.: D’une main nonchalante,
M.: D’une main nonchalante,

L.: Gagnons le bord,
M.: Viens, gagnons le bord

L.: Où l’oiseau chante,
M.: Où la source dort.

L.: l’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.
M.: Et l’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

L.: Dôme épais, blanc jasmin,
M.: Sous le dôme épais, Sous le blanc jasmin,

L.: Nous appellent ensemble!
M.: Ah! descendons ensemble!

L.: Mais, je ne sais quelle crainte subite
s’empare de moi.
Quand mon père va seul à leur ville maudite,
Je tremble, je tremble d’effroi!

M.: Pour que le Dieu Ganeça le protège,
Jusqu’à l’étang où s’ébattent joyeux
Les cygnes aux ailes de neige,
Allons cueillir les lotus bleus.

L.: Oui, près des cygnes aux ailes de neige,
Allons cueillir les lotus bleus.

L: Dôme épais le jasmin
M: Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin

L.: À la rose s’assemble,
M.: À la rose s’assemble,

L.: Rive en fleurs, frais matin,
M.: Sur la rive en fleurs, riant au matin,

L.: Nous appellent ensemble.
M.: Viens, descendons ensemble.

L.: Ah! glissons en suivant
M.: Doucement glissons; De son flot charmant

L.: Le courant fuyant;
M.: Suivons le courant fuyant;

L.: Dans l’onde frémissante,
M.: Dans l’onde frémissante,

L.: D’une main nonchalante,
M.: D’une main nonchalante,

L.: Gagnons le bord,
M.: Viens, gagnons le bord

L.: Où l’oiseau chante,
M.: Où la source dort.

L.: l’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.
M.: Et l’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

L.: Dôme épais, blanc jasmin,
M.: Sous le dôme épais, Sous le blanc jasmin,

L.: Nous appellent ensemble!
M.: Ah! descendons ensemble!

Literal English

Thick dome of jasmine
Under the dense canopy where the white jasmine,

Blends with the rose,
That blends with the rose,

Bank in bloom, fresh morning,
On the flowering bank, laughing in the morning,

Call us together.
Come, let us drift down together.

Ah! Let’s glide along
Let us gently glide along; For its enchanting flow

The fleeing current;
Let us follow the fleeing current;

On the rippling surface,
On the rippling surface,

With a nonchalant hand,
With a nonchalant hand,

Let’s go to the shore,
Come, let’s go to the shore

Where the bird sings,
Where the spring sleeps.

the bird, the bird sings.
And the bird, the bird sings.

Thick dome, white jasmine,
Under the dense canopy, Under the white jasmine,

Call us together!
Ah! Let’s drift down together!

But, an eerie feeling of distress
overcomes me.
When my father goes into their accursed city
I tremble, I tremble with fright!

In order for him to be protected by Ganesh
To the pond where joyfully play
The snow-winged swans
Let us pick blue lotuses.

Yes, near the swans with wings of snow,
And pick blue lotuses.

Thick dome of jasmine
Under the dense canopy where the white jasmine,

Blends with the rose,
That blends with the rose,

Bank in bloom, fresh morning,
On the flowering bank, laughing in the morning,

Call us together.
Come, let us drift down together.

Ah! Let’s glide along
Let us gently glide along; For its enchanting flow

The fleeing current;
Let us follow the fleeing current;

On the rippling surface,
On the rippling surface,

With a nonchalant hand,
With a nonchalant hand,

Let’s go to the shore,
Come, let’s go to the shore

Where the bird sings,
Where the spring sleeps.

the bird, the bird sings.
And the bird, the bird sings.

Thick dome, white jasmine,
Under the dense canopy, Under the white jasmine,

Together call us!
Ah! Let’s drift down together!

Singable English

‘Neath the dome, the jasmine
‘Neath the leafy dome, where the jasmine white

To the roses comes greeting,
To the roses comes greeting,

By flower banks, fresh and bright,
On the flow’rd bank, gay in morning light,

Come, and join we their meeting.
Come, and join we their meeting.

Ah! we’ll glide with the tide,
Slowly on we’ll glide floating with the tide,

On we’ll ride away;
On the stream we’ll ride away;

Through wavelets shimm’ring brightly,
Through wavelets shimm’ring brightly,

Carelessly rowing lightly,
Carelessly rowing lightly,

Reach we the steeps
We’ll reach soon the steeps

Where the birds warble,
Where the fountain sleeps.

warble, the birds sprightly.
Where warble the birds sprightly.

‘Neath the dome rowers unite,
‘Neath the leafy dome, where the jasmine white,

Come and join we their meeting!
Come and join we their meeting!

But, why my heart’s swift terror invested,
Doth not yet appear,
When my father ‘lone goes to your city detested,
I tremble, I tremble with fear.

May the god, Ganesa, keep him from dangers,
Till he arrives at the pool just in view,
Where wild swans, those snowy wing’d strangers,
Come to devour the lotus blue.

Yes, where the wild swans, those snowy wing’d strangers,
Come to feed on lotus blue.

‘Neath the dome, jasmines white
‘Neath the leafy dome, where the jasmine white

To the roses comes greeting,
To the roses comes greeting,

By flower banks, fresh and bright,
On the flow’rd bank, gay in morning light,

Come, and join we their meeting.
Come, and join we their meeting.

Ah! we’ll glide with the tide,
Slowly on we’ll glide floating with the tide,

On we’ll ride away;
On the stream we’ll ride away;

Through wavelets shimm’ring brightly,
Through wavelets shimm’ring brightly,

Carelessly rowing lightly,
Carelessly rowing lightly,

Reach we the steeps
We’ll reach soon the steeps

Where the birds warble,
Where the fountain sleeps.

warble, the birds sprightly.
Where warble the birds sprightly.

‘Neath the dome rowers unite,
‘Neath the leafy dome, where the jasmine white,

Come and join we their meeting!
Ah! come join we their meeting!

Sources

“Flower Duet” on Wikipedia
Sabine Devieilhe on Wikipedia
Marianne Crebassa on Wikipedia

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