Full of wit and invention, Donizetti’s comic opera is a delight. The famous aria “Ah, Mes Amis,” with its nine high Cs, is one of opera’s most show-stopping numbers. Bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena take on the challenging vocal fireworks in Laurent Pelly’s hilarious staging. Orphaned as a small child and raised by an entire army regiment, the spirited Marie has grown up as the regiment’s ‘daughter’, raising morale and spreading joy. Tonio, a local man, falls in love with her and even joins the army for her sake. But a chance encounter with a noblewoman sparks a sudden revelation, and a tale unfolds of secret identities, long-lost family, and murky pasts.
Baritone Maurizio Muraro is Sergeant Sulplice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. Enrique Mazzola conducts.