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Gaetano Donizetti: La Fille du régiment
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Juan Diego Florez sings spectacularly in both productions. In this production, he does not encore "Ah, mes amis," so you'll have to do with just nine of his thrillingly precise high C's. However, I think he's more relaxed at Covent Garden, having added two years to his onstage experience.
Patrizia Ciofi of the Teatro Carlo Felice production cannot compete with Natalie Dessay as a comic actress. Beverly Sills called the role of Marie, "Lucille Ball with high notes." That describes Dessay's performance perfectly. Her high notes are indeed the highlight of her singing and her comic antics are a delight to watch. As I wrote in my review of the Teatro Carlo Felice production, Ciofi is not a natural comedienne. But, in my opinion, Ciofi has the superior voice; it is fuller, more varied in tone and more textured. She creates a more operatic Marie.
The Teatro Carlo Felice production gives the relationship between Sulpice and the Marquise a flirtatious turn. It adds a lot to their otherwise rather dull roles (dull compared to other supporting roles in Donizetti comedies, such as Dr. Dulcamara and Giannetta in "L'Elisir d'Amore").Read more ›
However, this taping does not match the performance given at the Met on April 26, 2008. Dessay was not in as good of condition (I assume) at Coven Garden, and thus a great deal of her vocal ornamentation heard at the Met is not present on this DVD. Nonetheless, she remains a wonderful singing actress, even if the vocal embelishments aren't quite what they were in New York.
It also seems that this production had a chance to iron out some minor flaws after touring in London and Vienna. If you did not see the production in New York, this will not affect you. I just felt the production was funnier, the singer's were more relaxed in their roles, and things just seemed to run smoother overall at the Met.
My last little complaint was that the lighting seems to be dimmer at Covent Garden. I don't know what it is, but a few scenes seemed lost in the shadows.
Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful DVD that shouldn't be missed. My complaints are small. While the Met's production earned 5/5 stars, this one might earn 4.9/5. I highly recommend this DVD.
That said, it strikes me that we are especially fortunate to be living when Natalie Dessay is at the pinnacle of her art. In this instance she is able to demonstrate that she is a brilliant comedienne. For heaven's sake, LA FILLE DU REGIMENT is not the operatic equivalent of a fragile piece of porcelain; it is a jeu d'esprit which has its tongue in its cheek throughout.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have several earlier versions of the opera, Sills from the 70's and Sutherland in the 80's ijncluded. Both shine. Dessay's of this Century does not suffer by comparison..... Read morePublished 2 months ago by drkhimxz
An outstanding performance by Natalie Dessay and the entire cast. You will love every minute of the performancePublished 6 months ago by Rodolfo
In creating my collection of 35-40 of the most popular / tuneful operas available;
I've the Metropolitan Opera / Deutsche-Grammophon DVDs superior in all respects. Read more
Of Donizetti’s three comic operas, namely “L’Elisir d’Amore,” “Don Pasquale” and “La Fille du Regiment,” the latter is probably the least sophisticated. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Errol Levine
Very engaging performances. Dessay is at her best, both in acting and in singing.Published 7 months ago by Paul N. Duckro
Terrific staging ... Dessay superb as usual and Florez (new to me) simply stunning in tenor role. To my mind a better version than the Met - Stills.Published 7 months ago by Thomas R,. Shaver
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