Soprano Diana Damrau makes her debut as “Marie” with San Francisco Opera
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
San Francisco Opera presents Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment), opening October 13th with six subsequent performances through October 31st at the War Memorial Opera House. Tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings Tonio (notorious for its nine High Cs), a role that made history for him when he sang an encore of his rendition at the Metropolitan Opera. Flórez last appeared at San Francisco Opera as “Don Ramiro” in La Cenerentola in 2003. In her highly anticipated Company debut, Diana Damrau sings “Marie” for the first time in this production. Ms Damrau recently made her role debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor. Renowned director Laurent Pelly makes his Company debut in this production which has delighted audiences in New York, London and Vienna. Conductor Andriy Yurkevych makes his U.S. debut with these performances.
JUAN DIEGO FLÓREZ, Tenor. Photo, Johannes Ifkovits
DIANA DAMRAU, Soprano. Photo, Tanja Niemann
Italian bass-baritone Bruno Praticò makes his Company debut as “Sulpice”, a sergeant in the 21st Regiment—a role he recently performed at Houston Grand Opera. Merola Opera Program alumna Meredith Arwady, who recently performed the role of “Zita” in San Francisco Opera’s 2009 production of Gianni Schicchi, returns as Marie’s mother, the “Marquise of Berkenfeld”. Mezzo-soprano Sheila Nadler, who has performed more than 25 roles with the Company, appears as the “Duchess of Krakenthorp” and Jake Gardner, who also recently appeared in Gianni Schicchi at San Francisco Opera, sings “Hortensius”.
One of the prolific composer’s best-loved works, Donizetti’s comic opera La Fille du Régiment tells the story of Marie, a rambunctious tomboy raised by the soldiers of the 21st Regiment and the native Tyrolean boy who loves her, Tonio. When Marie’s mother, a wealthy aristocrat, reunites with the daughter she once abandoned, she attempts to teach the stubborn Marie how to act like a lady and arranges her marriage to a prestigious Duke. In the end, Tonio’s devotion to his beloved and Marie’s kind heart convinces her mother that the two should be together, and the Marquise gives her blessing to their marriage.
Sung in French with English supertitles, the seven performances of La Fille du Régiment are scheduled for October 13th (8:00 PM), October 16th (8:00 PM), October 19th (7:30 PM.), October 22nd (7:30 PM), October 25th (matinee, 2:00 PM), October 28th (7:30 PM), and October 31st (8:00 PM). Click here for more information: La Fille du Régiment
JUAN DIEGO FLÓREZ – The Daughter of the Regiment. Photo, Ken Howard
Soprano Diana Damrau makes her role debut as Marie with San Francisco Opera this season, also marking her Company debut. A native of Günzburg an der Donau in Germany, Ms Damrau began her career at the opera houses of Würzburg, Frankfurt, and Mannheim, and has since performed with the world’s top opera companies. Her recent engagements include “Constanze” (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), “Pamina” and the ”Queen of the Night” (Die Zauberflöte), “Aithra” (Die Ägyptische Helena), “Rosina” (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), “Gilda” (Rigoletto), “Zerbinetta” (Ariadne auf Naxos), and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera. Winner of Opernwelt magazine’s 2008 “Singer of the Year” award, Damrau recently signed an exclusive recording contract with Virgin/EMI, and she is featured on two recordings:
MOZART: Donna and Diana Damrau – Arie di Bravura . She and Juan Diego Flórez will repeat their roles in Daughter of the Regiment at the Met. She will appear as “Ophelia” (Hamlet) with Washington National Opera; the title roles of Manon in Vienna and Lucia di Lammermoor with Deutsche Oper Berlin; “Donna Anna” (Don Giovanni) in Geneva; and “Constanze” in Barcelona.
Juan Diego Flórez made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2003 as “Don Ramiro” (La Cenerentola). The tenor grew up in a musical family and began studies in his native Lima (Peru) and at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute. He made his 1996 professional debut in Matilde di Shabran at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and has since appeared at La Scala (L’italiana in Algeri, Falstaff, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Gluck’s Armide, La Sonnambula); Florence’s Teatro Comunale (Le Comte Ory, Falstaff); the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Donizetti’s Elisabetta, Rossini’s Otello, La Cenerentola, La Sonnambula and the recent Matilde di Shabran); the Vienna State Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Fille du Régiment, L’Italiana in Algeri, Gianni Schicchi, La Sonnambula); the Metropolitan Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L’Italiana in Algeri, Don Pasquale, La Fille du Régiment); Rome Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola); Munich’s Bavarian State Opera (L’Italiana in Algeri); Bologna’s Teatro Comunale (recent I Puritani conducted by Maestro Mariotti) and Paris Opera (L’Italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola). He has made numerous recordings including Arias For Rubini and Sentimiento Latino.
GAETANO DONIZETTI, Composer and ANDRIY YURKEVYCH, Conductor
Andriy Yurkevych, General Music Director of Ukranian National Opera in Odessa, makes his U.S. operatic debut with San Francisco Opera this season. He is the former resident conductor of the National Opera Krushelnytska in Lviv, where he has led productions including Aida, Nabucco, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Don Carlo, Otello (Verdi), La Bohème, Madama Butterfly. Upcoming engagements include Lucrezia Borgia with Dresden’s Saxon State Opera and in Dortmund; Norma in Mannheim and Duisburg, Germany; Maria Stuarda in Naples; and Eugene Onegin in Düsseldorf. A native of Zboriv, Ukraine, Yurkevych is a graduate of the Lyssenko Music Academy in Lviv and a past winner of Kiev’s Turchak National Competition.
The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street.
Add these CDs to your Opera Library:
MOZART: Donna – Diana Damrau sings arias from Mozart’s The Abduction From The Seraglio, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and more. Jérérmier Rohrer conducts Le Cercle de L’Harmonie.
Diana Damrau – Arie di Bravura – Numi respiro…Ah, lo sento (Antonio Salieri), Ombra dolente (Vincenzo Righini), Der Hölle Rache (W.A. Mozart), and more. Jérérmier Rohrer conducts Le Cercle de L’Harmonie. Recorded at Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris, France.
Arias For Rubini – Juan Diego Flórez sings 13 arias including Eccomi alfin, guerrieri…All’udir del padre afflitto (Vincenzo Bellini), Ma un solo conforto (Gaetano Donizetti), Che intesi, oh, annunzio (Gioachino Rossini), and more. Roberto Abbado conducts the Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra.
Sentimiento Latino – Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings the popular music of Latin America and Spain. Songs incude Estrellita, Siboney, Jarra de Oro, Granada, Mexico Lindo, and more. Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
JUAN DIEGO FLÓREZ. Photo, Jason Bell
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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