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Donizetti - La Fille du Regiment / Devia, Kelly, Podles, Pratico, Borioli, Rivenq, Renzetti, La Scala (2002)

Austin Kelly , Nicolas Rivenq , Tina Protasoni  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Austin Kelly, Nicolas Rivenq, Mariella Devia, Ernesto Gavazzi, Bruno Pratic
  • Directors: Tina Protasoni
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000094Q4K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entirely satisfactory production May 21, 2003
Once available only on recordings in Italian (with an exception on the London label), Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment" now has several sound recordings in the original French. An old video with Beverly Sills is in English and not very well done, and one from Australia boasts Joan Sutherland (who in no way looks the part but has few vocal problems with it). Now we have a really excellent DVD version put out by TDK (DVUS LFDR) from La Scala under the musical direction of Donato Renzetti and stage direction of Filippo Crivelli.
While tenor Paul Austin Kelly does not hit those 8 high Cs with quite the brilliance that the young Pavarotti was once able to toss off, he is comfortable in the role both musically and dramatically. Bruno Pratico makes a likable Sulpice (very important in this opera), while Ewa Podles hams it up but sings marvelously as the comical Marquise. Soprano Mariella Devia might be the most petite Marie ever, but her clarion notes when she imitates the regiment's trumpets are stunning.
The program notes mention how Zeffirelli designed the costumes and scenery to tone down the jingoism and pro-military sentiment of the original; but during the introductory titles, drawings of battlefield slaughter are shown on the screen and one wonders if those responsible for the video consulted with those responsible for the stage production.
At least there is not too much clowning in the comic scenes and the serious sequences are taken--well, seriously and without camping. I honestly doubt if a better version will appear on video and this is a very good choice for your next opera-video purchase.
The picture is in "full screen" ratio (4:3), and if you wish to use subtitles, they are available in English, French, Spanish and Italian.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Rendition of Comic Opera July 9, 2003
Donizetti was a composer of over 70 operas. Some are outstanding; others less than so. Three of his comic operas, Don Paquale, L'Elsir D'Amore and La fille du Regiment are in the former category. I first saw this work when the Met toured, featuring Joan Sutherland and the young Pavarotti. It was a fantastic performance, and remains the benchmark for me. So how to evaluate this disc?
First, the music: it is a hugely melodic work, with one great melody following another. The plot is somewhat trivial by today's standards, but it still holds together well. The video is full screen and well defined, and the sound allows for DTS as a menu choice. In that mode, the sound is stunning.
The singers are all quite good. No, Paul Austin Kelly is not Pavarotti, but he is an attractive, believeable Tonio, and he can act. He hits all the notes , even the high ones woth clarity and presicion. Bruno Pratico is a competant Sulpice and Ewa Podles is a funny yet well sung Marquise. It is Mariella Devia who steals the show, though. She has a big lyrical soprano voice for such a petite woman, with supple runs and a brilliant top.
I have said repeatedly that the DVD medium is the next best thing to a live perdormance, and this disc is further proof of that. It is also an excellent "first opera" for anyone (including the kids) who is curious about why so many of us love the stuff.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming production July 5, 2004
This is a lovely production with a beautiful fairy-book setting by Zefferelli that enhances the storybook nature of the opera. It is very playful and funny as well. Devia steals the show by her glorious singing but she has chosen not to ham it up in the first act. This pays off nicely in the second act when her considerable comedic talents finally come into play. This is a strategy which complements the action very well. In my opinion, the performance is considerably more nuanced than Beverly Sills embarassing effort to emulate Carol Burnett in the Wolf Trap version. The supporting cast (especially Ewa Podles) contributes strongly to the success of this delightful work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colourful and vocally stunning Fille! February 4, 2006
By Armindo
It must have been quite a challenge to mount this French Fille production in the heart of Italy, La Scala. It's like selling Italian olive oil to Greeks and probably the reason the audience didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did.

I found both the garish Zeffirelli production and the singing wonderful with one exception; Mariella Devia whom I found phenomenal. I lost count of the number of high notes she hits in this performance and the last one is longer and more radiant than the previous ones. Although one can easily get distracted by these perfect top notes, the middle range where most singing lies is never less impressive. Even in louder passages, her intoxicating voice never spreads and she shades it beautifully. Moreover her petite figure and cute stage presence make her a totally convinving Marie even if she was 45 at the time of this production.

Podles is great, showing off her impressive vocal range and strong instrument. I also liked her on stage. The lesson scene with Devia is sparkling. Pratico could perhaps have done more with the character but he is absolutely fine and his baritone is most pleasant. Kelly has a beautiful lyric voice and if the top is not Pavarotti-like secure, it certainly has a ring.

The dvd is nicely tracked and well prepared. For some reason I didn't expect much from this performance but it turned out to be one of the most exciting things I've seen. Worth e v e r y penny!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All this and Podles too!!!
As a Fillenatic I can recommend this highly. Very funny production with the marvelous Ewa Podles being a wonderful comedienne and treats us to some of her extreme notes from bass... Read more
Published on July 30, 2009 by Operafilly
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Marie!!!
This was a very good traditional production of La Fille du Regiment with great music, glorious singing, colorful scenery and costumes but rather dull acting. Read more
Published on September 16, 2007 by P. Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Cast headed by a 'Super' bel canto soprano
Well, nowadays the classical world loves 'star' singers, and thankfully we have a bunch of them to hold up the operatic banner, and even to grace the '100 most influential people'... Read more
Published on May 13, 2007 by Abert
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleasing To The Ear
I think that this production of La Fille du Regiment is very pleasing to both sight and sound. The props are very bright and vivid, the costumes are eye-catching, and the vocals... Read more
Published on March 7, 2006 by Matthew S. Baggarly
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun
I do not agree with the reviewer who claims that this production has no sense of fun. There was plenty of colorful fun (especially in the second act), besides the great singing. Read more
Published on February 6, 2004 by J. L. Broekhuis-Nehls
1.0 out of 5 stars No sense of fun
I'm a lover of this particular opera - but I recommend anyone who would like a copy of "Daughter of the Regiment" to seek out older versions done by the New York City... Read more
Published on December 2, 2003 by Joy Gilman
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