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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    The Daughter of the Regiment at Opera Carolina

    Opera Carolina is presenting Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment, on November 10 (this performance we're reviewing today), 15, and 18, at the Blumenthal Performance Arts Center in Charlotte, NC. Click [here] for more information and tickets.

    This time we did not do our usual for Opera Carolina, with announcements and interviews with the artists. This was due to the fact that this writer changed jobs and moved to another town, all coinciding with the performance, and after being for 15 years in one place (one accumulates so much!), the move was significantly busy and did not allow time for anything else. We did attend La Fille du Régiment at Opera Carolina, which was at least more than what we did (or rather, did not do) for NC Opera and Piedmont Opera: we didn't even have the time to attend their productions that started their new seasons.

    Anyway, the move is almost complete now, and for the next productions, we intend to resume our regional coverage in North Carolina; our new address remains at driving distance from all three opera companies (actually, we are closer to Charlotte, now).

    Still quite busy, we will just publish a brief review.

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    La Fille du Régiment, Opéra-comique in two acts, sung in French (spoken dialogues, in this production, in English)
    Music by Gaetano Donizetti
    Libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard
    Premiered at L'Opéra-Comique, Paris, on February 11, 1840

    The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stefano Romani
    The Opera Carolina Chorus
    Stage Director Alain Gauthier
    Set Design Brian Perchaluk
    Video and Lighting Design Michael Baumgarten
    Costumes by A.T. Jones
    Wig and Make-up Design Martha Ruskai

    Marie - Sarah Coburn
    Tonio - David Walton
    Seargeant Sulpice - Matthew Burns
    Marquise de Berkenfeld - Maariana Vikse
    Hortensius - Carl DuPont
    The Duchess of Krakenthorp - Diane Schoff
    The Corporal - Charles Lang
    A Peasant - Jonathan Lodgek
    A Notary - Caleb Sigmon

    ---------

    Opera Carolina is having its 70th season, a great accomplishment for a regional opera company. For this season opener, they presented a guest conductor, the Italian maestro Stefano Romani, and also brought in a stage director from Québec. In a novelty for the Charlotte public, the title role was granted to the charming Sarah Coburn, who had her Opera Carolina début and did very well. She displayed good and clear coloratura, a pleasant voice, and her looks match the role. Her one poignant, "sad" bel canto aria, "Il faut partir", at the end of the first act, was the musical high point of the evening (given that the "Ah mes amis..." sequence by her Tonio partner wasn't thrilling). Much less successful was David Walton, who didn't catch fire and appeared to have modest chemistry with Sarah, with a small stage presence. This was compensated by how well the other main male role, Sulpice, was rendered by Matthew Burns, who had an excellent night and was quite funny. Both Maariana Vikse and Carl DuPont did well with their characters, and displayed good comedic flair, especially in a riotous scene in the beginning of the second act. Notably, the male chorus was phenomenal.

    I tend to like less the playing of the Charlotte Symphony when the outstanding James Meena is not there, so I wasn't particularly impressed with the results achieved by maestro Stefano Romani. Meena obtains like nobody, lively sounds from the Charlotte pit, with his dynamism and notorious ability to conduct by heart, without the score. I missed maestro Meena.

    The physical aspects of the production were correct but not extraordinary. This seems to be a revival with sets that I've seen elsewhere if I'm not mistaken, with a painted backdrop of the Tyrol mountains that looks a bit tired. Blocking and lighting didn't add much to the simple sets.

    Opera Carolina chose to do the spoken dialogues in English. They also updated some of it, with insider jokes, such as using local Charlotte landmarks and streets for the names of the nobility invited in by the Marquise, to very comic effect.

    Overall, this was a pleasant evening, but a bit less accomplished than what we've come to expect from Opera Carolina, although the title role by Ms. Coburn, the Sulpice by Mr. Burns, and the male chorus did bring lots of musical and acting pleasure to the audience. Overall, grade B.

    Next, Opera Carolina will be presenting Carmen on January 19, 20, and 24, and Eugene Onegin on May 9, 11, and 12. We are excited about the fact that one of Opera Lively's favorite interviewees, the beautiful Alyson Cambridge, will be the title role in Carmen. The cast for Eugene Onegin also looks very enticing.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); November 15th, 2018 at 02:19 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  3. #2
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Moving is such a colossal headache! I hope the dust has finally settled and you're enjoying the new job and home.

  4. Thanks Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) thanked for this post

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