Opera Scotland

Daughter of the Regiment 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Fille du RĂ©giment

No complete cast details for any of the four performances of La Fille du Régiment have been confirmed as yet. One of them - the Saturday matinee in Glasgow on 24 March - saw the Donizetti played in a double bill with Campbell's brief tragedy Thais and Talmaae, first seen in 1921, but new to Scotland. The Herald's review of that afternoon's entertainment provides an abbreviated cast. It had devoted more space on Friday, 9 March, in reviewing the first performance, without giving significantly more cast detail.

''In spite of much that is now old fashioned in its composition, The Daughter of the Regiment still serves to remind the present generation that Donizetti was at least a writer of sparkling melody, and although performances of this opera are not so frequent as once upon a time, it was evident from the enthusiasm of the audience assembled at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, last night that the lively comedy and the engaging music still make up an enjoyable entertainment.''

''Under the direction of Mr Paul Kochs, last night's performance went from start to finish with a fine swing. Donizetti's music, with its exhilarating rhythm, invites the tramp of feet, and one heard the feet last night, even in the carpeted parts of the house. The broad comedy of the second act, with its amusing lesson in etiquette, was so well sustained that the audience expressed their appreciation in repeated recalls of the principals. Miss Jennie Bleasdale in the role of the vivandière made one of her most successful appearances since the company opened in Glasgow. She not only acted with real charm and sang the music in a fresh, sweet voice but she had the advantage over most of the Maries one has seen in looking appreciably girlish. The lover, Tonio, was played in the right spirit by Mr Horace Vincent, but one still has the impression that he forces his voice unduly and is too keen upon top-note effects to be so good a singer as he might be.''

This is the only description out of many examined, covering many decades, where even an oblique reference is made to Tonio's aria 'Ah mes amis.....Pour mon âme' with its succession of nine high Cs, perhaps the most notorious requirement of this particular opera in modern revivals. Another interesting comment is the suggestion that for his appearance during Marie's singing lesson it was standard practice for Sergeant Sulpice to perform a familiar song with military flavour - Schumann's Two Grenadiers.

This delightful frothy comedy from 1840 was now fading from the general repertoire - until Covent Garden revived it in the mid-sixties for Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. Since then it has regained a firm place, with the most recent Covent Garden staging featuring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez.

For full details of the Carl Rosa's 1923 Scottish tour,  see entries for Aïda, MaritanaLohengrinCarmen, Tales of Hoffmann or Bohemian Girl.

Company information is from a programme for w/c 5 March in the collection of the V&A, London.

Performance Cast

Marquise de Birkenfeld

Winifred Burns (Mar 8)

Marie a foundling

Jennie Bleasdale (Mar 8, 24m)

Tonio a Tyrolean peasant

Horace Vincent (Mar 8, 24m)

Sulpice a sergeant of Grenadiers

Harry Brindle (Mar 8, 24m)

Performance DatesDaughter of the Regiment 1923

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Mar, 19.15 24 Mar, 14.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

7 Apr, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

12 Apr, 19.15

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha