Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) [complete opera recorded in 2007] BLU-RAY

 
Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) [complete opera recorded in 2007] BLU-RAY cover
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GAETANO DONIZETTI
Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) [complete opera recorded in 2007] BLU-RAY
Royal Opera House / Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Florez, Felicity Palmer, Alessandro Corbelli, Donald Maxwell, Dawn French / Bruno Campanella (cond)

[ Erato / Warner Classics Blu-ray / Blu-ray Disc ]

Release Date: Sunday 1 November 2015

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Rated: G - Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993Suitable for General Audiences

January 2007 brought an 'operatic coupling made in heaven' (Financial Times) to London's Royal Opera House when Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez took on the roles of Marie and Tonio in Donizetti's comic opera La Fille du régiment.

'The Royal Opera's new staging... will probably go down in history as one of the company's great achievements,' said The Guardian. 'Laurent Pelly's production casts Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez as Marie and Tonio. Neither, one suspects, could ever be bettered. Dessay, in particular, gives the performance of a lifetime. A remarkable theatrical animal, she acts as well as she sings... Vocally, [Flórez] is immaculate, with the nine top Cs of his big aria perfectly placed.' (Famously, the following month, Flórez's prowess brought a break with a venerable tradition: he was obliged to encore the showpiece at La Scala, Milan. No singer had been permitted to repeat an aria at the leading Italian house since 1933!)

La Fille du régiment has a distinguished history at Covent Garden. The 1960s brought virtuosos in a very different mould in the principal roles, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. In 2007 there were standing ovations for Dessay and Flórez. As The Times said: 'I have never seen a singer invest quite so much manic comic energy into a role as Dessay does, and certainly not while tossing out some of the most fiendish coloratura in the repertoire... Simply mesmerising.'

The production, described as 'champagne for the soul' by The Independent, travelled to Vienna in April 2007, and is scheduled for the New York Met in April/May 2008, when it will also be broadcast internationally in HDTV. Laurent Pelly is one of today's wittiest operatic directors, and has worked extensively with Natalie Dessay; the production combines touching storybook charm with a mordant sense of the absurd. The sets, the work of Pelly's regular collaborator Chantal Thomas, present the landscape of the Tyrol as three-dimensional maps, while Pelly himself designed the eclectic costumes.

The cast includes Italy's indispensable buffo baritone, Alessandro Corbelli, formidable mezzo Felicity Palmer and, in the speaking role of the Duchesse de Crackentorp, the comedienne Dawn French, who provides some excruciating 'franglais'. The opera is conducted with 'great elegance and charm' (The Guardian) by Bruno Campanella, one of today's leading bel canto specialists.

'The Royal Opera's new staging... will probably go down in history as one of the company's great achievements,' said The Guardian. 'Laurent Pelly's production casts Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez as Marie and Tonio. Neither, one suspects, could ever be bettered. Dessay, in particular, gives the performance of a lifetime. A remarkable theatrical animal, she acts as well as she sings... Vocally, [Flórez] is immaculate, with the nine top Cs of his big aria perfectly placed.' (Famously, the following month, Flórez's prowess brought a break with a venerable tradition: he was obliged to encore the showpiece at La Scala, Milan. No singer had been permitted to repeat an aria at the leading Italian house since 1933!)

1080i0i High Definition 16:9 / 132 mins

MARBECKS STAFF PICKS 2008 - DVD OF THE YEAR

GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD FINALIST 2008 - DVD

MusicWeb - DVD OF THE YEAR 2008

BBC MUSIC - DVD OF THE YEAR 2009

"The Royal Opera's new staging of La Fille du régiment will probably go down in history as one of the company's great achievements ... Laurent Pelly's production casts Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez as Marie and Tonio. Neither, one suspects, could ever be bettered. Dessay, in particular, gives the performance of a lifetime. A remarkable theatrical animal, she acts as well as she sings (…). Vocally, [Juan Diego Flórez] is immaculate, with the nine top Cs of his big aria perfectly placed … You can't fault the rest of it, either. Bruno Campanella's conducting has great elegance and charm. Felicity Palmer's Marquise de Berkenfeld is the operatic equivalent of Edith Evans's Lady Bracknell, while the all-important speaking role of the battleaxe Duchesse de Crackentorp goes to Dawn French, who, generously and wisely, refuses to hog the limelight. A truly outstanding night at Covent Garden, the like of which we haven't seen in ages…" The Guardian

"The camera presents Chantal Thomas's settings piecemeal, but the wit bounces through, as it does with Bruno Campanella's sparkling conducting. It all makes you want to be in the stalls, seeing and breathing every moment."
The Times On Line

"With regard to Florez, well, he was born to sing Tonio. His perfectly focused voice is anything but large, but it has great muscle behind it and you never feel that he's a "light" tenor, à la Luigi Alva. His fluency with coloratura is astonishing and graceful, and the fact that high C is just another note in his voice--he has recorded a perfectly fine E-flat--makes his famous aria, with its nine high Cs, sound practically easy, which of course is the essence of bel canto. It's still a feat, and every note has body and character." (ClassicsToday 10/10 June 2008)

"Laurent Pelly's production of Donizetti's opéra comique was one of the highlights of the Royal Opera's 2006-7 season, and viewing this well-produced DVD of the show it's perfectly obvious why. Natalie Dessay's skinny tomboy of a Marie combines a 110 per cent commitment to the physicality of her acting with a coloratura facility that is beyond criticism." BBC Music Magazine

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