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Opera: Charles Os­bourne in Covent Gar­den

The Jewish Chronicle - - ARTS&BOOKS -

TLa Fille du Rég­i­ment (Donizetti) Royal Opera House his is one of the most de­light­ful of Donizetti’s comic op­eras. Com­posed to a French li­bretto, it is a su­perb ex­am­ple of au­then­tic French opéra comique, a link be­tween the op­eras of Grétry and Adam, and the op­erettas of Of­fen­bach.

Set in the Swiss Ty­rol dur­ing the pe­riod of the Napoleonic wars, the ac­tion cen­tres around Marie, who has been brought up since child­hood by Sergeant Sulpice and his reg­i­ment, who re­gard her as their mas­cot.

The new pro­duc­tion by Laurent Pelly at the Royal Opera House, up­dates the opera to the First World War, with the reg­i­ment in tin hats. Once one had got used to this thor­oughly un­nec­es­sary de­par­ture from what the French li­bret­tists had wanted, all was well.

As Marie, Natalie Des­say sang beau­ti­fully, but the star of the evening was hand­some Peru­vian tenor Juan Diego Florez who belted out the nine top Cs in his aria with great en­ergy and style. His ova­tion seemed never-end­ing.

The ac­tress Dawn French coped fault­lessly with her non-singing role of the Mar­quise de Berken­feld, and Bruno Cam­panella con­ducted splen­didly.

Fi­nal per­for­mance: Fe­buary 1

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