After opening with a not-so-flying Dutchman, Lyric Opera of Chicago has rebounded with a grand and wonderful November. Simply final Sunday I loved the harrowing, shifting manufacturing of Janacek’s Jenufa with the voices of Lise Davidsen and Nina Stemme hovering into the viewers. Then on Thursday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending an opera with a polar reverse theme: a rip-roaring, pleasant, humorous, and charming manufacturing of Donizetti’s comedian surprise The Daughter of the Regiment (La Fille du Regiment). I’ve by no means had a greater time in an opera home.
The manufacturing, initially directed by Laurent Pelly and right here by revival director Christian Rath, is a marvel. The suitable units by Chantal Thomas, Pelly’s colourful costumes (largely for the ladies since a lot of the males are in uniform), and Joel Adam’s vivid and cheery lighting kind a cohesive unit that helps and enhances the motion and the comedian enterprise. The manufacturing can be enlivened by a troop of effective dancers performing the detailed, precision choreography (initially by Laura Scozzi, revival choreographer Karien Girard). Even the Lyric Opera refrain throws itself into the dancing with pleasant outcomes.
The Daughter of the Regiment introduces us to Marie, who was adopted as a foundling toddler by a regiment of French troopers who function her many “fathers.” We meet her as a younger lady doing the soldier’s laundry and serving as their canteen. She has fallen in love with a Tyrolean peasant, Tonio, however the regiment desires nothing to do with their romance, insisting that Marie has promised to marry solely one of many regiment. On the finish of Act One, the rich Marquise of Berkenfeld stumbles upon them, and insists that she is Marie’s long-lost aunt. She takes the weeping Marie away to her chateau, aspiring to make her into extra of a girl. As act two begins, a depressing Marie is to be married to Duke Scipio of Krankenthorp. Immediately, the regiment rushes in to save lots of her, accompanied by Tonio who has enlisted (additionally accompanied on this manufacturing by a tank!!!). We quickly be taught that Marie is definitely the Marquise’s daughter. At size, the Marquise offers Marie permission to marry Tonio, and, as in says in this system synopsis, “Everybody celebrates.”
Pelly has directed with actual comedian flare, at all times conserving the motion shifting ahead with a quick tempo. The singing actors on this manufacturing all appear to have agreed on a efficiency type that presents heartfelt comedy with out veering into silliness or farce. The result’s streams of laughter from the viewers. Along with the principals, the Lyric Opera males’s and ladies’s choruses contribute mightily to the merry-making, singing and dancing with precision and verve.
In an exhilarating Lyric Opera debut, Lisette Oropesa is totally charming as Marie. Her Marie is impish and alternately feisty and heart-wrenchingly weak. Her shimmering, liquid silver soprano fills the home with clear tone, Donizetti’s arching phrases and excessive notes maintain no worry for her. The viewers beloved watching her change from tomboy to rising maturity as her love for Tonio grows. She’s additionally has glorious comedian timing in each her singing and performing. There was a beautiful innocence about her efficiency, which was equaled in her accomplice, Lyric favourite Lawrence Brownlee as Tonio.
There was crackling good chemistry between the 2, and he, too, offers a weak, touching efficiency. His honeyed tenor was resplendent all through, incomes a well-deserved “bis” for the outstanding a number of high-C part of his aria “Ah! Mes amis…” His singing was lovely and movingly romantic all through and his comedian expertise was first-rate.
Baritone Alessandro Corbelli infused Sulpice with a real fatherly take care of Marie. Alternately gruff and lovable, he gave an amusing buffo efficiency, particularly so when he realized that the Marquise’s curiosity in him was greater than platonic. Ronnita Miller was pleasant because the flustered Marquise. Pleasure Hermalyn has a effective comedian flip because the uptight Duchess of Krakentrorp and particular point out goes to Ryan Opera Heart member Ron Dukes, who makes use of his deep, full voice to sturdy impact because the Corporal.
Conductor Speranza Scappucci was an animated presence on the rostrum, and he or she led the Lyric Opera Orchestra in a stirring studying of Donizetti’s rating, by no means letting the vitality flag.
The Lyric Opera Refrain below Michael Black offered one other glorious, exact efficiency, and threw itself into the singing and motion with aplomb.
Photographs: Lyric Opera of Chicago