The plot of Les Pechures de Perles centers around one beautiful Virgin, Leila, and two friends, Zurga and Nadir, who love her. The opera opens with the Pearl fisherman choosing Zurga to be their new king. There is a reunion between the two old friends, Zurga and Nadir, and the two men remind themselves of their vow to not let their love of Leila ruin their friendship. Soon though, Leila is caught in the clutches of Nadir and Zurga must rule on their punishment. In a fit of jealousy, he sentences the lovers to death. When a fire occurs right before the planned execution, Zurga has a change of heart and frees Nadir and Leila.