Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks in “La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment)” — including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis … Pour mon âme,” with its nine high Cs. Soprano Pretty Yende sings the title role with “gleaming sound, sparkling runs and lots of sass” (New York Times) and tenor Javier Camarena is “effortless … thrilling” (New York Times). And in the cameo role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp, legendary actress Kathleen Turner makes an appearance. Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trade off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield.
The Metropolitan Opera will broadcast “La Fille du Régiment” to the Middlebury Town Hall Theater at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2; and 12:55 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. Estimated run time is 2 hours, 35 minutes.
This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications — and comedy — ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.
Bergamo-born Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) composed some 75 operas, plus orchestral and chamber music, in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Apart from the ever-popular “Lucia di Lammermoor” and the comic gems “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “Don Pasquale,” most of his works disappeared from public view after his death. But critical and popular opinion of his huge opus has grown considerably over the past 50 years. The librettist Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges (1799-1875) was a dramatist and the manager of the Opéra Comique. He also wrote the libretto for the enduringly popular ballet “Giselle” and was a frequent collaborator of the most successful theatrical personalities of his day.
In Middlebury, there will be a free talk downstairs at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, March 2, by Richard Marshak.