The Daughter of the Regiment (La Fille du Régiment) is a delightful, light-hearted, frolicsome opera with leading roles made famous by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. Of all the operas by Gaetano Donizetti, this is possibly the finest, with a combination of true Italian dramatic tension and superb musical verve.
It tells the story of a foundling, Marie, who is adopted by a regiment; she entertains the soldiers as their vivandière and enjoys their company. She develops affections for Tonio (a country boy who saves Marie from falling over a precipice), who enlists as a soldier for her sake, but there are complex plans afoot for marrying her to a Duke
Swansea City Opera (SCO) has built a fine reputation for high-quality touring theatre since its inception in March 2004 and will employ the same successful team to deliver a new witty translation to equal that of their much acclaimed version of The Barber of Seville (touring 2004/5). Add to this drumming, marching and the hilarious singing lesson scene and you can be rest assured that you will be in complete rapture, with this unforgettable performance from a superb ensemble company.
Includes the famous arias:- Chacun le sait and 'Ah mes amis'
The Daughter of the Regiment
Setting: the mountains of Tyrol, early 19th century
Sulpice questions the girl about a young Tyrolean with whom she has been seen, only to have the soldiers drag him in moments later. Since he has been found spying near the camp, the soldiers want to kill the young man, but are prevented by Marie who relates how he saved her from falling from a precipice. She introduces her hero as Tonio and, as the men agree to accept him for his bravery in saving Marie, she begins to sing the famous song of the regiment. Led by their sergeant and corporal, the men join in, but are soon summoned to roll call. The regiment takes Tonio with them, but he slips back to see Marie and tell her that he loves her. She opens her heart to him, and they fall into each other's arms.
As they leave, Sulpice enters with Hortensius and the Marquise, who relates that her late sister had a child by a man in Sulpice's regiment named Captain Robert who was killed in battle. When Sulpice admits that Marie is that child, the Marquise insists that she must take Marie away from the regiment and prepare her to become a noblewoman, her rightful station in life. Sulpice breaks the bittersweet news to Marie that her aunt has been found but that she will need to leave the regiment and accompany her aunt home.
As they sadly leave, the soldiers bring in a new recruit. Tonio has joined the regiment to be near Marie. The soldiers are wary of him and protective of Marie, but they accept his happiness at being near the girl he loves. Soon, however, Sulpice sadly relates that Marie will be leaving the regiment to go with her aunt and Tonio's heart is broken. Marie tearfully says her goodbyes to all her friends, including the man she loves. The men of the regiment bemoan the loss of the girl they have raised since infancy as the Marquise takes her away. Tonio refuses to give up and vows to follow them.
Act II (a few months later)
Alone with Sulpice, the Marquise reveals the secret that
Marie is actually her own daughter, but forbids Sulpice to break the
news. She begs him to persuade Marie to marry the Duke of Krakenthorp.
Sulpice agrees to try.
Soon a Notary presents the marriage contract for signatures, but Marie has still not returned, much to the evident frustration of the Duchess. Finally, Marie enters holding back her tears. Ignoring the Marquise's request, Sulpice has informed Marie of her mother's secret, and to save her mother any further embarrassment, she agrees to sign the wedding contract.
Just in the nick of time, Tonio bursts in with the men
of the regiment who narrate the true story of Marie's rough history
and upbringing. Marie admits the truth of her past as the guests look
on in shock.
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