Whether you are new to opera or consider yourself an aficionado, “The Daughter of the Regiment” is a fantastic evening of entertainment. This Opera (which includes subtitles) is funny, easy to follow, touching, offers a great story and includes a few life lessons we can all identify with.
1,500 fathers have a lot of opinions
Marie, the main character of “The Daughter of the Regiment,” is strong, spunky and strong-willed. She was orphaned on the battlefield and adopted by 1,500 French soldiers she affectionally calls her “fathers.”
While a multitude of dads could mean lots of trips to the ice cream shop and money borrowing opportunities, it also translates into tons of advice and disapproving looks when Marie falls in love with Tonio, a mere peasant. Her fathers believe her suitor and future husband should join the regiment and be one of them. Whew! Dads…
There’s always that one meddling family member
If discussing your love life with 1,500 fathers wasn’t enough, the Marquise of Birkenfeld enters the scene to stir up trouble. Marquise says Marie is her niece (or is she?) and that she knows the truth of Marie’s high-ranking birth order. Her plan is to take her away from her regimental family and teach her to be a true aristocrat lady complete with classical ballet lessons, high-fashion and (gasp!) an arranged marriage.
Sometimes life’s celebrations call for hitting the high notes
After Marie’s “dads” capture Marie’s love interest, Tonio, hanging around the camp, they give him an offer he can’t refuse: join the regiment or die. He picks the joining option telling the soliders he would do anything to be near his love. He also mentions he would like to marry their daughter. After some convincing, the dads agree and Tonio celebrates by belting out Pour mon ame.
This isn’t just any song of celebration it’s a HUGE aria with nine high C’s! All you need to know is the vocal stamina and talent needed to sing this song is like Cam Newton throwing a touchdown at Bank of America Stadium, blindfolded, facing backwards, from Atlanta.
Meanwhile, the Marquise arranges the perfect marriage for her niece – a wealthy son from the house of Crackentorp. Marie is melancholy about the decision and is singing her broken heart out when her 1,500 fathers show up led by her love interest, Tonio. As the two make a final appeal to the Marquise to let them marry, she eventually reveals that she is not Marie’s aunt (we knew it!), but her mother (what?).
Marie caves, she cannot go against her mother’s wishes. Cue the wedding and the arrival of the guests. Marie takes a moment to recall fond memories of growing up in the regiment. The refined guests are appalled at her lack of proper upbringing but the Marquise is touched. She sends the Crackentorps packing and joins Tonio and Marie. Everyone lives happy ever after!
Hit the own high notes and join the revolution when you attend Opera Carolina’s first hit of the season, “The Daughter of the Regiment.”
Photo Credit: “The Daughter of the Regiment”, Ellen Appel,Fort Worth Opera
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Article written by Courtney McLaughlin.