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La Fille du Régiment and Experiencing an Opera

By Kendall Sommers, III Form

La Fille du Régiment and Experiencing an Opera

Gaetano Donizett wrote La Fille du Régiment, and it premiered at “Opera Comique” opera house in Paris in 1840. The two-act show first premiered at the Metropolitan Opera house in New York in 1902. It was the composer’s first show in French and became a huge success following its release. On February 11th, 2019, St. Markers attended La Fille du Régiment for the annual opera trip. The show follows a young woman, Marie, who grew up in the French army after being taken in by Sargent Sulpice. Leading with a background of her adoption and the climate in which she grew up in, one surrounded by men, viewers can understand her mannerisms and apparent personality. Opera-goers are introduced quickly to Marie’s love interest, Tonio, who is an Austrian that meets Marie by saving her life. The regiment is opposed to their courtship because he is an Austrian and an enemy to them, but Marie resists this fact. Traveling through the regiment’s campsite, a wealthy woman, the Marquise of Berkenfield, reveals that she is Marie’s aunt. She whisks Marie off to her Chateau to force manners onto her and guide her into an arranged marriage in order to salvage her family’s generational wealth. She demands that Marie leaves her lover and family, the regiment, behind. (more…)