Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment

Barbe & Doucet (stage direction), Stefano Ranzani (conductor) — With Maria Grazia Schiavo (Marie), Natasha Petrinsky (Marquise de Berkenfield), John Osborn (Tonio)...

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Barbe & Doucet — Staging, sets, and costumes

Guy Simard — Lighting designer

Guido Salsilli — Video designer

Maria Grazia Schiavo — Marie

Natasha Petrinsky — Marquise de Berkenfield

Marisa Laurito — Duchesse Krakenthorp

John Osborn — Tonio

Armando Noguera — Sulpice

Guillaume Andrieux — Hortensius

Matteo Ferrara — Un caporal

Federico Vazzola — Un notaire

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro La Fenice — Orchestra, Choir

Alfonso Caiani — Chorus Master

Stefano Ranzani — Conductor

Program notes

In 1838, after his opera Poliuto was censored in Italy, a spurned Donizetti left his homeland and came to Paris. It was there that he wrote his first true French opera and one of his greatest successes: La Fille du Régiment, a sparkling melodrama that traces the story of Marie, the vivandière (canteen girl) of a regiment who travels and works with her troops. Tonio, enamored of Marie, enlists in the ranks in order to impress her, but she is revealed to be the long-lost daughter of the Marquise of Berkfenfield, who brings Marie to her castle and be educated and married to a man befitting her station. Marie, however, remains faithful to the soldiers…

Donizetti, before the official advent of the operetta, created this finely wrought work from both a dramaturgical and musical perspective, characterized by sudden leaps in action and rich with varied visions of life and social norms: a military revue with toy soldiers, a bucolic scene with pastoral undertones, a parody of rural nobility… In this production at La Fenice by Barbe & Doucet, maestro Stefano Ranzani leads the excellent house orchestra as the action comes to life in the hands of a stellar vocal cast, including the magnificent Maria Grazia Schiavo and John Osborn as Marie and Tonio.

Photo © Michele Crosera

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