Mady Mesplé (Lakmé), Danielle Millet (Mallika), Charles Burles (Gérald), Roger Soyer (Nilakantha) & Jean-Christophe Benoit (Frédéric), Bernadette Antoine (Ellen), Monique Linval (Rose), Agnès Disney (Mrs Bentson) & Joseph Peyron (Hadji) & Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique, Alain Lombard
Delibes’ exquisite and touching Lakmé was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1883. Nearly 90 years later the orchestra and chorus of that very theatre assembled for this recording under the baton of Alain Lombard. The title role, a Brahmin’s daughter who loves an English officer, is taken by Mady Mesplé. Her charming, agile soprano exemplifies French style, as does the sweet-toned tenor of Charles Burles, who partners her as Gérald. Mezzo-soprano Danielle Millet joins Mesplé for the celebrated Flower Duet, while Lakmé’s implacable father, Nilakantha, is sung by the splendid bass Roger Soyer.