* Notes *
San Francisco Opera's La fille du régiment opened last Tuesday. The production, directed by Laurent Pelly, is outrageously silly, involving laundry, potatoes, and very large maps. Karine Girard's slapstick choreography was cute and worked well on the all the singers. The acting overall was charming and everyone looked quite comfortable. It was surprising how much French dialogue there was, but for the most part, the momentum of the absurdity kept the performance moving.
The orchestra raced through the score under Andriy Yurkevych, but managed to stay together. The chorus sounded like they were having fun. Kenneth Kellogg acted and sang convincingly with the chorus as the corporal. Meredith Arwady was an imperious Marquise de Berkenfield, her voice is dark and velvety. Diana Damrau was winsome in the title role, sprightly and darling. She did have the slightest bit of strain when singing loudly at the top of her voice, but had a pleasant suppleness otherwise. Juan Diego Flórez sang sweetly, his high C's were brilliant and not shrill in the least.
* Tattling *
There was more than one conversation going on during the music, but nothing too obnoxious to be ignored. The audience was particularly delighted by the elderly wedding chorus and by the mini tank Flórez enters on near the end.