Seattle Opera to Present THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, 10/19-11/2
Ball gown and tuxedo or fleece vest and birkenstocks-in Seattle, it doesn't matter! Come as you are to the first production of Seattle Opera's 50th Anniversary season. Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment tells the story of Marie, a tomboy forced against her will to become a lady. This light-hearted opera features a girl with a whole regiment full of fathers, some of the composer's most romantic music, a formidable grand dame duchess played by a man, and a tenor who hits nine high Cs in the space of one minute. Seattle Opera's production, set in the 1940s, opens on Saturday, October 19, and runs for seven performances through November 2.
"This crowd-pleasing opera is the perfect opportunity to bring together Sarah Coburn and Lawrence Brownlee. It's almost as if Donizetti created the piece to showcase their talents," says Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera's General Director. "It's as charming a piece as Donizetti ever composed-and a perfect follow-up to the Ring."
Soprano Sarah Coburn, whom Opera News has called "blissfully sublime," appears on opening night as Marie. Theater Jones praised her Tulsa Opera performance of this role, in which "she completely captured the character of the uncomfortable misfit at the stuffy royal court." Both Coburn and tenor Lawrence Brownlee, who sings her love-interest Tonio, are former Seattle Opera Young Artists; both appeared at Seattle Opera in 2011 as Count Almaviva and Rosina in The Barber of Seville. According to the Houston Press, "There's no better Rossini tenor today than Lawrence Brownlee." The New York Times has praisEd Brownlee's "agility" and "elegance," and Opera Today, reviewing his performances in Rossini'sArmida and La donna del lago, writes "the ease with which MR. Brownlee meets these demands is awe-inspiring." Brownlee won Seattle Opera's Artist of the Year Award in 2008 for his performance as Arturo in I puritani in 2008. Another pair of former Seattle Opera Young Artists, Andrew Stenson and Terri Richter Franklin, take on Tonio and Marie in the alternate cast. Stenson surprised and delighted Seattle Opera audiences in March, 2012 by replacing an indisposed William Burden at a performance of Orphée et Eurydice. Franklin has sung Xenia in Boris Godunov and Oscar in Un ballo in maschera for Seattle Opera.
The Daughter of the Regiment features the Seattle Opera debut of Canadian baritone Alexander Hajek as Sulpice. Mezzo soprano Joyce Castlesings the Marquise of Birkenfield. Castle has given Seattle Opera memorable performances of such characters as Prince Orlofsky, Herodias, and Mrs. Bertram in The End of the Affair. Peter Kazaras, whose Seattle Opera credits include major tenor roles, impressive work as stage director, and Artistic Director of the Young Artists Program (from 2006 through 2013), makes his role debut as the Duchess of Krackenthorp. As a special treat, at these performances of The Daughter of the Regiment, Kazaras (as the Duchess) will sing "Ah! Quel diner je viens de faire" from Offenbach's La Périchole, accompanied by Castle (as the Marquise) at the piano.
Yves Abel, whose Seattle Opera credits include La Cenerentola, Vanessa, Die Fledermaus, The End of the Affair, and Il trovatore, conducts TheDaughter of the Regiment. The production, by director Emilio Sagi and designer Julio Galán, comes from Teatro Comunale di Bologna and sets the action in the 1940s.
The Daughter of the Regiment premieres Saturday, October 19, and runs through Saturday, November 2. Tickets are available online at seattleopera.org or by calling206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Ticket prices start at $25.