Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

In La Fille du Régiment, Donizetti’s 1840 romantic comedy, Tonio (Lawrence Brownlee) falls hopelessly for Marie (Nino Machaidze), the spunky tomboy raised since infancy by French soldiers, and, happily, she shares his feelings. The arrival of a duchess (soprano Kiri Te Kanawa in a non-singing role) complicates things for the lovestruck pair, but not before an elated Tonio sings the opera’s famous aria "Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” (“Ah, my friends, what a day for celebrating!”)

Brownlee is increasingly identified with the role of Tonio, which has been called the Mount Everest for tenors because it features nine high Cs. Machaidze was recently seen at the Met as Gilda in Rigoletto.

Cast:

Conductor: Yves Abel

Marie: Nino Machaidze

Marquise of Berkenfeld: Ann Murray

Duchess of Krakenthorp: Kiri Te Kanawa

Tonio: Lawrence Brownlee

Sulpice: Maurizio Muraro

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Comments [5]

There are two versions of the libretto. "Convien partir" is Italian, not bad French. The French version, as we heard recently on the MET broadcast begins with "Il faut partir." The well-known recording of La Fille by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti uses the French libretto, and Dame Joan sang "Il faut partir."

Maria Callas sang the Italian version.

Jan. 06 2012 12:31 AM
larry eisenberg from new york city

Bel Canto is what I love best,
With some favorites 'mongst the rest,
Donizetti ranks high
With Operas that I
As a listener am so obsessed!

Dec. 24 2011 01:46 PM
jls

"We are coming to you live" were the first words from Margaret Juntwait as usual. But it's NOT live on the deceptive WQXR, which is now disregarding Met radio tradition and delaying the broadcast by an hour. Why?

Dec. 24 2011 01:07 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

What a happy choice to listen to the day before Christmas whilst I am in the kitchen cooking up a mess of goodies. No mischief, murder, mayhem. Just the triumph of love. Oh God, I actually wrote the last sentence. I Must be getting soft.
Merry Christmas to all especially the gang at WQXR.

Dec. 24 2011 11:27 AM
vicric from Vinegar Hill, Harlem

"Convien partir" or "Il faut partir"? What's the first line of one the soprano's challenging arias in Donizetti's _La Fille du Régiment_. I believe Nino Machaidze will sing the latter this afternoon, but the former is in the original libretto.

For the record, La Callas sang "Convien partir".

The problem is: "convien" is not a word in French. "Conviens" might have worked, but they are both pronounced alike. I guess modern sopranos want us to hear and know that they have corrected le mauvais français.

Dec. 24 2011 10:40 AM

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