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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 ›
This production of “La Fille du Regiment” from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden succeeds because Natalie Dessay fulfills the vocal and acting requirements for the role of Marie and Juan Diego Florez is a youthful, winsome and delightful Tonio who makes the difficult role look like a piece of cake. Whatever one might think of the merits or lack of merits of this opera, I doubt that there are any other singers alive today who could do a better job in this opera than Ms. Dessay and Mr. Florez.
It is difficult to watch this DVD to its conclusion and not end with a smile on one’s face. It is true that Ms. Dessay’s interpretation of Marie is somewhat over the top. At times I did not know whether I was watching Edith Piaf singing opera or Olympia the mechanical doll from “Les Contes d’Hoffman.” Also, I did not think she attained the vocal excellence of Joan Sutherland in this role. However, she sang beautifully.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 9 months ago by drkhimxz
An outstanding performance by Natalie Dessay and the entire cast. You will love every minute of the performancePublished 13 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
Very engaging performances. Dessay is at her best, both in acting and in singing.Published 14 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 14 months ago by Thomas R,. Shaver
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