Tuesday, April 22, 2008

La Fille du Regiment at the Met

My husband and I attended the last performance of our Metropolitan Opera '07 -'08 opera subscription on Monday evening -- the gala benefit premiere of LA FILLE du REGIMENT

Yves Saint Laurent underwrote this gala, and there was quite a buzz on Lincoln Center's plaza with paparazzi and reporters under a tent waiting to take pictures of people who were obviously important, but who I, unfortunately, didn't recognize. It was still exciting to see!

Since this was a gala premiere, there were many in the audience attending in black tie and gowns, and the Grand Tier Restaurant which you can see in the picture below, with the elegant staircase entrance below it, was overflowing with invited guests.

La Fille du Regiment is a comedic opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Natalie Dessay stars in the title role, and tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings her lover, Tonio.
You can read the entire synopsis here, but it is basically the story of a young woman who was an orphan raised by a French army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications and comedy ensue when her true identity is discovered.
The most amazing performance of the night was Juan Diego Florez's rendition of " Pour mon ame quel destin!" in his role as Tonio, which has nine high C notes and is notoriously difficult to sing. Florez not only captured every note, but he delivered them with such pure clarity and strength he literally brought the house down! In all my years of attending Met performances, I never heard such a long and loud ovation and cries of "Bravo!" It was truly thrilling! In fact, the orchestra began the chords for the aria again and Florez sang an encore!
The opera role of Tonio was the breakout role for Luciano Pavarotti in 1972, and I couldn't help but feel that Mr. Florez will be one of the brightest stars in opera too.

Here is a photo of Juan Diego Florez taking his bows at the finale:

Natale Dessay in the title role was also wonderful. She was animated and quite believable as a young tomboy, and her difficult arias were also expertly delivered bel canto.

Ms. Dessay taking her bow:

If you would like, read The New York Times review. Watch their video clip of Juan Diego Florez singing "Ah! Mes Amis" from "Fille du Régiment" at the Metropolitan Opera dress rehearsal, but if you want a real treat to go to the left sidebar of the article and under the title "Those High C's" click on the arrow to listen to an MP3 recording of the Monday night performance of Mr. Florez, that we saw, followed by the thunderous ovation and the encore ... it will give you chills!
Thank you Metropolitan Opera and New York Times for letting me relive that again!

It really was a magical night, and a perfect farewell, for us, for another wonderful Met opera season! Bookmark and Share


Susie Q said...

It is simply magical. I am absolutely green with envy!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Lovely pictures and I read every word...3 times!


Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Boy, that is a glaring reminder of the dismal backwater I'm living in! Thanks for the hit of culture!!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Oh the joys of living in a city :-) It sounds like a perfectly wonderful evening. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Vee said...

Sounds as if it was truly wonderful and I would love to have been there. It's important to get some culture from time to time. Sadly, most of mine comes from yogurt.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

I've never been to the opera, unless I can count Phantom of the Opera LOL It looks like a beautiful night and a fantastic place to enjoy it :)

Thank you for your encouraging words on the farmhouse dilemma. I'm hoping and praying for some great news, meanwhile trying to keep my head on straight.

Have a beautiful day today my friend.
rue :)

Anonymous said...

It must have been magical, and thanks for sharing the magic.

I loved Pavarotti. And, the three tenors. They have given me many hours of being sweetly transported.

Tess Kincaid said...

Okay, Pat, I am extremely jealous!:) I absolutely LOVE opera. It's a good thing I don't live out there, or I would be spending all my money on Met tickets. BTW, my daughter is an up and coming young opera singer. Thanks for sharing your enchanting evening.

Mrs. B said...

Wow, I am so jealous! I bet that was fabulous! And the building is gorgeous! I would love to do this sometime. I've only been to the opera once, in San Francisco, but it was amazing!

Junie Moon said...

What a wonderful night; I so love attending and enjoying such beautiful events.

By the way, thank you again for your book club link yesterday. I signed up right away and am already received fun emails.

PAT said...

Thank you so much, Pat. This is an beautiful post! Lovely photos and writing!


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I know nothing about opera, but it sounds like a truly wonderful evening! I am going to check out the High C's link you mentioned...

Proud Italian Cook said...

What a beautiful evening with your Hubby Pat. I couldn't help but think about the scene in "Moonsruck" when they were at the Met.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
What a wonderful experience! To really go to an opera at the Met! I love things like that. My greatest live show I've attended is Phantom of the Opera, a real treat for me. Live performances are so special. I'm glad you had enjoyed it!!
Hugs, Sherry