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Customer Review

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All-star cast, 5-star entertainment, 16 May 2008
This review is from: La fille du régiment [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] [2008] [Region 1] (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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2010 19:03:39 GMT
S. Leydon says:
Maybe I'm not as musically qualified as our Texas reviewer, but I found this production of La Fille du Regiment an absolute delight. I didn't want it to end. If, like me, you just love opera and beautiful singing then sit back and ENJOy! It was, without doubt, my favourite Christmas present.

Posted on 7 Sep 2010 22:53:31 BDT
I've now seen both the Florez "Filles" (this and the one with Ciofi in it) several times, and I have to say I prefer the other one. I'd be happy with either, but for me there's a depth in Ciofi's performance that Dessay doesn't quite manage. Florez seems slightly 'fresher' in the other one and I prefer the Bologna Marquise. Palmer's French isn't great but it's way better than Ulivieri's in Bologna, playing Sulplice. The Covent Garden chorus is far superior, acting all-round is better and staging is more imaginative. As usual with opera, it's swings and roundabouts. What tips the balance for me is the sense of special occasion captured in Bologna, Florez and Ciofi sending the audience into raptures, Florez encoring "mes amis". But they're two very different performances, Covent Garden offering more of a caricature approach, and if you love the work I'd recommend buying both. It's only money, after all.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Sep 2010 00:42:28 BDT
libriarsque says:
I appreciate your telling about the Bologna "Fille" and can well believe that Ciofi's Marie has more depth. I would also venture to guess, from hearing her elsewhere, that her upper register (the normal "upper," not the stratasphere) is less spread than Dessay's.
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