[Met Performance] CID:229220
La Fille du Régiment {54} Hynes Civic Auditorium, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/24/1972.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 24, 1972


LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT {54}

Marie.......................Joan Sutherland
Tonio.......................Luciano Pavarotti
Marquise of Berkenfield.....Monica Sinclair
Sergeant Sulpice............Fernando Corena
Hortentius..................Andrea Velis
Duchesse of Krakentorp......Jean Kraft
Peasant.....................Charles Kuestner
Corporal....................Andrij Dobriansky
Dancing Master..............Harry Jones

Conductor...................Richard Bonynge

Review of Elliot Norton in the Boston Globe

Sutherland Great in Met [first night]


At the Hynes Auditorium, the Metropolitan Opera Company's Boston season began
last night with a spectacular display of high C's, high spirits and high skills.

In a new production of "La Fille Du Regiment" ("The Daughter of the Regiment") one of the great sopranos of the world and one of the most astonishingly gifted young' tenors of this generation led the forces that made the magic, and, in so doing, made the first night memorable. As singer, as actress, as comedienne, Joan Sutherland played and sang the title part in her own style, which is incomparable, and with her own operatic powers, which are inimitable. She was in all ways magnificent. From her we expect nothing less than magnificence.

From the young man, Luciano Pavarotti, who served the opera, the regiment and the
soprano as the ardent, if somewhat confused young lover, Tonio, we had anticipated much because word of his talent had preceded him. But not this much! This robust and rotund singer is a great new star in the making.

The entire production, which the Met seems to have developed from one which originated at the Covent Garden Opera House, is playful and pleasant, in the style of opera bouffe rather than grand opera with spoken passages instead of tedious recitative, with a general air of light-heartedness. The light-heartedness reached some sort of high point when Miss Sutherland, as Marie, who would rather be a daughter of the regiment than a well-bred girl, steps forward with sheets of pompous music in her hands, rips them up, then throws the pieces into tie orchestra pit.

Although she sings the love songs from the heart, Miss Sutherland doesn't take the tangled tale of Marie and her regiment and her mixed-up lover seriously. It is not a matter of mockery, but of good cheer in the face of improbability. She respects the music and the sentiments, but not the sentimentality. She is pert as Marie when she first appears in a jaunty uniform, carrying a drum, saluting the men of the twenty-first regiment, her "fathers": pert and fresh and funny in the style of musical comedy. She carries that pertness through the opera, triumphantly.

She sings the familiar songs in warm, true tones which, when the score requires, soar up into the musical stratosphere, always perfectly produced, often thrilling. When she seems most mischievous, as in the second act trio in which Marie balks at being a lady, she does incredibly beautiful things as though there were nothing to it. She is the most secure, the most technically accomplished of all the divas, and one of the most engaging and winsome.

Her young tenor, Lucky Luciano Pavarotti - lucky because he gets to sing with her and is given every opportunity to display his greatness - is boyishly appealing. He has the light touch, too, and what a voice! When, in act one he protests his love for Marie in some of Donizetti's most exuberant and thrilling music, his voice went up and up into such high and heady tones he almost created pandemonium in the astonished audience.



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