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La Fille du Regiment

“Takes a while to warm up”

First seen in 2007 and here revived for the fourth time, Laurent Pelly’s amiable production of Donizetti’s light comedy The Daughter of the Regiment is less starrily cast than in its first emanation, when Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez took the leads.

The replacements make an honourable job of it. Sabine Devieilhe may have a voice slightly too small for the house, but her technical skills and stage personality bring her solid success as tomboy Marie, unwillingly swept up into high society.

As lovelorn peasant turned comic-opera soldier Tonio, Mexican tenor Javier Camarena stops the show twice with his famous Act I showpiece containing nine consecutive top Cs, which is duly encored – and quite right too; he’s a winning performer, delivering the role with enough charm to keep you smiling.

Similarly, Pietro Spagnoli’s game Sergeant Sulpice is an able replacement for Alessandro Corbelli, while Enkelejda Shkoza equals any of her predecessors as Marie’s proud but guilty mother, the Marquise.

Miranda Richardson makes a meal of the entirely spoken role of the Duchess of Crakentorp, giving the show a much needed shot in the comic arm in the last act. Donald Maxwell repeats his fussy butler Hortensius.

Overall the production still looks good and undoubtedly keeps the audience entertained, though it takes a while to warm up. Donizetti’s score is undemanding but has many clever moments and is never dull and Evelino Pidò conducts a performance that finds the chorus and orchestra on good form.

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Production Details
Production nameLa Fille du Regiment
VenueRoyal Opera House
StartsJuly 8, 2019
EndsJuly 20, 2019
Running time2hrs 45mins
ComposerGaetano Donizetti
DirectorLaurent Pelly
ConductorEvelino Pidò
Set designerChantal Thomas
Costume designerLaurent Pelly
Lighting designerJoel Adam
CastDonald Maxwell, Pietro Spagnoli, Enkelejda Shkoza, Javier Camarena, Miranda Richardson, Sabine Devieilhe
Production managerCliona Ni Mhochain
Stage managerSimon Catchpole
ProducerMetropolitan, New York, Royal, Vienna State
VerdictA good cast doesn’t quite live up to its predecessors in this lightweight comedy
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George Hall

George Hall

George Hall

George Hall

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