Tenor Javier Camarena leads the cast in this version of Donizetti’s opera.
Premiered at the Salle de la Bourse of the Opéra Comique in Paris on 11 February 1840, La Fille du Régiment tells the story of Marie, an orphan girl who is adopted by an army regiment. She falls in love with Tonio, but since he’s a civilian, her family of soldiers oppose their marriage and so Tonio enlists in the regiment. But just when things seem to be going well, the Marquise of Berkenfield appears claiming Marie to be her lost niece and takes her away to her castle where she wants to bring her up to be an aristocrat. Tonio and the regiment are determined to get her back at any cost.
Although the libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François-Alfred Bayard with music by Gaetano Donizetti may seem to be a stark social commentary, the opera is actually marked by a great sense of humour. It has returned to Barcelona a number of time since it was first performed at the Teatre Nou on 30 August 1844 and can now be seen at the Liceu opera house from 16 May in a production by Laurent Pelly featuring tenor Javier Camarena in the role of Tonio and soprano Sabina Puértolas playing Marie. Also appearing are Ewa Podles (as the Marquise of Berkenfield), Simone Alberghini (as Sulpice), Bibiana Fernández (as the Duchess of Crakentorp) and Isaac Galán (as Hortensius). Musical direction is by Giuseppe Finzi.
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