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
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