About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Friday, September 30, 2011

It's late, the run's almost over, but...

I still have to post on Opera in The Heights' La Fille Du Regiment  by Gaetano Donzetti.
The first production of its season. And what a sparkler!
Having had a soupcon of arias sung by all 4 of the major roles' singers during the annual OVATIONS event the day before we left for Seattle and Alaska ( thus no blog on it), I was darn sure it would be a huge success! And so it is, and will be for 3 more performances - see how to get your last minute tickets below!
Newly appointed Maestro and Artistic Director Enrique Carreon Robledo 
(he, who wowed us all with his conducting of Don Carlo last season at The OH!) had the orchestra well in hand and the soloists played rather well. On the piano Keith Chapman.
Maestro's control extended to singers and chorus who sang with panache, verve and seemingly pure joy in doing a comedy - for a change - in which NO ONE dies!  Truly... no one does!

Now, I don't have samples of the voices heard with such pleasure at the OH.
BUT, just to give you, chers readers, an idea what this music by Donizetti can do for your funny bone:
Contralto Ewa Podles
Or maybe you like to soar with the High Cs' - like this byTenor Brownlee in recital "Ah, Mes Amis"!

In the case of The OH! production, which, BTW, was shortened cutting out one or two large crowd scenes and a few minor bits, I guess to keep the performance to the stated 2 hours 15 minutes with just one intermission, the cast made it a very pleasurable and stunning evening. It was a rapt audience of seasoned opera fans and young people from universities and schools. Rather refreshing to see them enjoy this comedy to spirited music!

 Erica Miller, soprano, as Marie gave it her all, singing with an incredibly agile, soaringly beautiful, clear voice, with more than just a hint of laughter, she also managed to infuse comic pouting;
all in all, a veritable show of vocal fireworks!

Her beloved Tonio, was sung with staunch endurance (all performances-there was no alternate Tonio) by talented tenor Gennard Lombardozzi..what a vocal feat!
And what a delightful smile he had (no wonder Marie falls for him:-)!
And he nailed those fiendish high notes beautifully, too!

Sergeant Sulpice benefited from the worldly experience of seasoned bass Stefano de Peppo who strutted, sang, and postured with some rather, ahem, sensuous Italianate charm and a warm rich sound.
(Chers readers know how low voices appeal to me :-)!

Marie's  newly found 'aunt'- actually her mother - was acted with perfect comic timing by the somewhat light mezzo soprano Nancy Markeloff, an OH audience favorite in such roles!

Cameo roles were well filled by baritone Wesley Landry as Hortensio, Maxim Bitner, also a baritone, as Corporal, and Nathan de Paz, a young tenor, as A Peasant.

Among the chorus were found such favorites as soprano Traci Davis, tenor Johnny Nichols, Jr, plus several new comers who acquitted themselves rather well blending their voices under Chorus Master Fuller.

Two speaking roles, Cassandra Black as Duchesse de Krackenthorp and  Kevin James Lusignolo as a bumbling Notary, did their bit of slapstick comedy to lighten the mood.
OH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarez OH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarezOH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarez
 upper row the Marie of Erica Miller
all photos by the talented Gwen Turner Juarez
lower row the Marie of Ashlyn Rust (not heard)
OH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarezOH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarezOH - Daughter of the Regiment by gwenturnerjuarez

The story is simple, Marie abandoned as a baby, is raised by a regiment of soldiers under the watchful eye of "Papa" Sulpice, who does not quite like her falling in love with Tonio, but because he can't deny her much,  says yes to the union in the end. BUT now comes the new found 'aunt' who wants Marie to be 're-made' into a 'fine aristocratic' marriageable young society lady. In the end however, love wins out! 

And Marie and Tonio may have lived happily ever after!
 That part the opera does not address, alas.
BTW you have 3 more chances to see this sparkling comedy at The OH!
TONIGHT FRIDAY September 30,

 To get tickets if still available
call immediately 713.861.5303

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