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Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) [DVD] [2008] [NTSC]


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Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) [DVD] [2008] [NTSC] + Donizetti - L'Elisir d'Amore (Wiener Staatsoper, April 2005) [DVD]  [2006]
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Product details

  • Actors: Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Florez, Felicity Palmer, Alessandro Corbelli, Dawn French
  • Directors: Laurent Pelly
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Virgin Classics (EMI Music)
  • DVD Release Date: 21 April 2008
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013V33DG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,355 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Fille Du Regiment (La)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A. Norman on 23 Nov 2008
Format: DVD
I have never seen or heard a better production of this magnificent opera. The stage production is the most imaginative I have ever seen anywhere; the set is better than most I have ever seen outside of the Metropolitan Opera House and the way in which it is presented is hilarious; Dawn French's cameo as the Duchess Crackentorp, non-singing, almost makes one forget that this is actually a Donizetti bel canto opera and not a stand-up performance. All of this is before the singing. I have on C.D. the 1968 recording of this opera, starring Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland and I can tell you that all of the singers and chorus are better in this than in that (except, of course, for Juan Diego Florez, who can't compare with Pavarotti but is amazing all the same). Natalie Dessay's singing is magnificent and enthusiastic; she is also an excellent actress, which is not too common in opera singers. All of the supporting cast are outstanding and in any other production would play leading roles; they only don't because the stars are out of this world.
All in all this is one production which should be favoured above all others. Highly recommended.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By martin jones on 2 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
Other reviewers have - rightly - heaped praise on this DVD and there is no point in repeating all of that. I would like, however, to add a few additional comments.

Firstly, the composer. Most people who have got this far on the Amazon site will know pretty much what they are looking for, but for the benefit of those who have stumbled across this recording by chance, Donizetti was a composer who died in 1848, age 50. During his lifetime he composed no less than 75 operas, a fair number of which are still performed more or less regularly, not to mention more than a dozen string quartets and other chamber music, and orchestral and and choral works.

In my old copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Music the composer is said to have "thoroughly understood the human voice and had an ear for a good tune." Such a patronising put-down is perhaps not surprising, as quite a lot of music lovers and musicians have a poor opinion of the bel canto style. Thankfully, these days there are not as many of them as there were fifty years ago.

Given such a prodigious output (always viewed with suspicion by some; but hey, what about Mozart and Schubert?) it is perhaps not surprising that Donizetti is sometimes accused of being formulaic. To be sure, those who have heard some of his other operas will feel on familiar territory with his orchestral writing, but then it is the voices which are the focus of attention, not the orchestra. And those who think that beautiful, sometimes florid, melodic lines and deep emotion cannot go together should listen to Tonio and Marie in the second act when they think their hopes of happiness will be dashed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roy and Pauline (London UK) on 14 Jan 2013
Format: DVD
La Fille du Regiment (ROH production 2007: Dessay, Florez, Corbelli, Palmer, /Campanella (DVD)
I first heard this work with Sutherland and Pavarotti over 40 years ago: a ponderous, laboured performance - and thought that if I never saw the work again it would be too soon. I was in India in 2007, but I saw the Dessay/Florez performances in 2010 (well, you can't stay away from them, can you?) - and had a Damascene conversion.
I think that Dessay sang better in 2010 than on this 2007 DVD, where her top notes can sound uncomfortable and at times the voice sounds a little unfocused (false memory? - probably not: US reviewers suggest that vocally she was better at the Met in 2008 than on this DVD). Nevertheless, from her entrance carrying tons of newly washed underwear which she proceeds to iron, fold and pile, while singing/chatting with Sulpice (delightfully sung and played by an avuncular Corbelli), she is wonderful. The duet with Tonio, declaring their love while peeling potatoes almost defines "feelgood". His "Ah mes amis" is stunning and her "Il faut partir", bidding farewell to each of the soldiers individually, is deeply affecting. Chaplinesque is a perfect description of Dessay: he was much more than a "laugh-out-loud" comic actor, and so is she.
The Act 2 arias for both Marie and Tonio are gorgeously done: Tonio's declaration of his love for Marie to the Marquise moves everybody on stage to tears. Does the production go over the top? A matter of personal taste, but - apart from the opening of Act 2 and the Duchesse of Krakenthorp (am I in a minority of one about Dawn French?) - no, it stays the right side of caricature. Pelly as producer isn't patronising: an excellent performance of this, OK silly (like most romcoms), but (unlike most romcoms) delightful work.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By libriarsque on 16 May 2008
Format: DVD
With the stellar cast of Dessay, Florez, Corbelli, and Palmer, one sits down to watch this DVD with high expectations. And one would not be disappointed.

Laurent Pelly's production is highly entertaining stuff. There is always something to occupy the eye, and though it may strike some people as 'overly busy', one can't help being amused at the sheer inventiveness of some of the stage business. He obviously demands a lot from his singers, especially the amazing Dessay, who has to be the most fearless artist performing today. As a comedienne she is her most physical, punctuating every vocal turn and flourish with a corresponding bodily movement. On first viewing, this kind of hyper-physical comedy is enchanting; however, I have to say it wears a bit thin on subsequent viewings, and I find myself longing for a comic portrayal that is more human and based more on character. Vocally, her coloratura is as bravura as ever, but too much pressure and spreading just above the upper passaggio in louder moments makes one fear a bit for her technical health.

Florez, in this particular performance, shows a tendency toward sharpness; but the elegant line, sensitive phrasing, and unerring style are all there.

Corbelli and Palmer are marvelous, as expected. It's gratifying to have on film a performance by Corbelli in a language other than his native Italian--he has excellent command of French, as well as German and English, which not many in the business are aware of. Dawn French, in the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp (sp?) elicits guffaws of "Olympic" proportions (that's an inside joke; you have to watch the DVD to get it).

I'm sorry I can't compare this production with the other Florez "Fille" (the one with Ciofi), but I'll leave that to someone who has seen both. I can, however, heartily recommend this one.
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