La fille du régiment

La fille du régiment at San Diego Opera

Jkw_regiment012313_390* Notes * 
San Diego Opera's 2013 season opened with La fille du régiment last night. The production, directed by Emilio Sagi, is set in France during the final days of World War II, rather than in 19th century Swiss Tyrol. This made the sung or spoken text go against the super-titles at times. Otherwise, Sagi seems rather detail oriented, it seemed that all the scenes were rife with activity. The audience appreciated the sight gags and various jokes interpolated in the dialogue.

The orchestra sounded buoyant under Yves Abel, but were not always with the singers. There were rough moments for the brass. The chorus was entertaining. Carol Vaness was a funny Duchess of Krakenthorp, and even sang a little. Kevin Burdette was a charming Suplice. Ewa Podleś was a perfectly haughty Marquise de Berkenfield and her acting is convincing. Her voice is still beautiful, though not as smooth as in former days. Stephen Costello sang with a great deal of power, his high C's were a bit raw in Act I. Costello's second act aria was plaintive without being cloying. L'úbica Vargicová was cute as Marie, and was impressively awkward in Act II, persuasive embodying the role. Her sound has a slight tendency to be shrill, and is pleasantly fluttery, but has a fullness to it.

* Tattling * 
The audience laughed a lot, and kept conversations to a minimum.

La fille du régiment at SF Opera

Damrau-florez * 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.

La fille du régiment Preview

The Opera Tattler sat in on a piano dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera's La fille du régiment last night. Without going into any details, it was very instructive to watch how it all comes together, not to mention hilarious. Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez are absurdly cute. Can't wait to hear Flórez hit those high C's at next Tuesday's opening.

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