La Fille du Régiment this Sunday at Palace Cineplex
Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks – including the show-stopping tenor aria Ah! Mes amis … Pour mon âme, with its nine high Cs in Gaetana Donizetti’s charming opera, La Fille du Régiment.
Playing exculsively at the Palace Cineplex this Sunday, March 10, it features Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trading off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish marquise of Berkenfield. And in an exciting piece of casting, stage and screen icon Kathleen Turner makes her Met debut in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp.
The opera, which had its world premiere in Paris in 1840, is a frothy comedy that mixes humour with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story focuses on a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment she expereiences her first stirrings of love. Complications and comedy ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.
Bergamo-born Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) composed about 75 operas, plus orchestral and chamber music, in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Apart from the ever-popular Lucia di Lammermoor and the comic gems L’Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale, most of his works disappeared from public view after his death. But critical and popular opinion of his huge opus has grown considerably over the past 50 years. The librettist Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges (1799–1875) was a dramatist and the manager of the Opéra Comique. He also wrote the libretto for the enduringly popular ballet Giselle, and was a frequent collaborator of the most successful theatrical personalities of his day.