Donizetti's wartime comedy La Fille du Régiment will return to the Met on December 12, with rising stars Nino Machaidze and Lawrence Brownlee in the leading roles of the tomboy Marie and Tonio, the soldier who loves her.
Yves Abel will conduct the opera, seen in Laurent Pelly's light-hearted staging, for the first time at the Met. Ann Murray will make her Met role debut as the befuddled Marquise of Berkenfield, Maurizio Muraro will sing the role of Sergeant Sulpice, and Kiri Te Kanawa will reprise her comedic turn in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp.
Machaidze, a young Georgian soprano who made her Met debut last season as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, will sing her first Met performances of Marie, the titular "daughter of the regiment" who is more comfortable in soldiers' quarters than an upper-class drawing room. Brownlee's past roles at the Met include a trio of Rossini heroes: Rinaldo in Armida (transmitted worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series) in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, Count Almaviva in IL Barbiere di Siviglia in the 2006-07 and 2009-10 seasons, and Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola in the 2008-09 season. In the 2009-10 season, Brownlee also sang one acclaimed performance of the notoriously difficult role of Tonio, which features nine high C's in the famous aria "Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!" Abel has led Met performances of IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Bizet's Carmen, and Verdi's La Traviata; also this season, he conducts Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
Murray made her Met debut as Sesto in the company premiere of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito in the 1984-85 season. Her other Met roles have included Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Rosina in IL Barbiere di Siviglia, and Marcellina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Muraro sang Sulpice in a 2009-10 revival of Donizetti's opera and sang Dr. Bartolo earlier this season in IL Barbiere di Siviglia. Te Kanawa's career at the Met has spanned four decades and included starring roles in Verdi's Otello, La Traviata, and Simon Boccanegra; Mozart's Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Così fan tutte; Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Arabella, and Capriccio (Met premiere); Handel's Samson; and Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus. She first performed the role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp in the Met's 2009-10 season.
La Fille du Régiment Radio Broadcasts
The December 12 opening performance will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on December 24 and January 2. The December 12 performance will also be streamed live on the Met's Web site, www.metopera.org.
The December 24 performance will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.