Go to the opera this Wednesday! It will be fun! And because I said so!
An orphan girl (soprano), a nice young Tyrolean (tenor), and a supportive family (the 21st regiment) make for a happy ending in La Fille du Regiment [The Daughter of the Regiment], an opera comique (comic opera) written by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848).
An encore presentation of La Fille du Regiment from the Metropolitan Opera high definition series will be shown at the Cinemark Theater in the Huntington Mall, the Cinemark Theater in Bridgeport, and Hollywood Stadium in Morgantown at 6:30pm, this Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
La Fille is a two act performance sung in French with English subtitles. This production was originally simulcast live in high definition from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Saturday, April 26, 2008. The running time is 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The advantage of writing about this encore performance is that I saw the 2008 simulcast. I highly recommend this performance for the outstanding singing and active staging.
La Fille du Regiment was premiered at the Opera-Comique in Paris on February 11, 1840. This opera is a fine example of the bel canto (beautiful singing) operatic style.
In this MET production soprano Natalie Dessay sings the tomboy role of Marie, the orphan daughter of the 21st regiment of the French army, with a florid, pyrotechnical vocal technique and with an exuberant physical stage presence with a flair for comedy. You will be amazed!
Tenor Juan Diego Florez sings the role of Toneo, the Tyrolean villager, with great vocal fireworks as well. Near the end of Act I, Toneo sings and aria (song) known as a great vocal challenge to all tenors. The tenor must sing nine high Cs at the conclusion of the aria, eight of which are complete octave jumps (lower C to the high C).
Remember that La Fille is a comic opera from beginning to end. Watch for the singing lesson in Act 2. Another thing to watch for is the tank in this MET production – a vehicle Donizetti did not use in his 1840 version.
Enjoy the music and the comedy of La Fille du Regiment!
Professor of Music