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‘Daughter of the Regiment’ opens opera season Jan. 26

Stephen Costello
Stephen Costello

San Diego Opera’s 48th International Season opens 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 with the comedy, “The Daughter of the Regiment.” The curtains also rises 7 p.m. Jan. 29 and Feb. 1, and 2 p.m. Feb. 3.

The opera will be broadcast on KPBS radio 89.5 FM at 7 p.m. Saturday, and online at kpbs.org

American tenor Stephen Costello will appear in the role of Tonio, singing the “Mount Everest” of opera, the famed aria “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” which includes nine high Cs.

L’úbica Vargicová
L’úbica Vargicová

He is joined by Slovakian soprano L’úbica Vargicová, as the orphaned Marie, who is adopted by a regiment of soldiers.

Making a Company debut as the kind-hearted Sergeant Sulpice is Italian bass Donato Di Stefano. Polish contralto, Ewa Podleś, sings the role of Marquise of Birkenfeld. American soprano, Carol Vaness, performs the spoken role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp.

Rounding out the cast is American baritone Malcolm MacKenzie as Hortensio and American bass-baritone Scott Sikon as a Corporal.

Franco-Canadian conductor Yves Abel makes his Company debut leading the opera from the podium, and Spanish stage director Emilio Sagi stages his imaginative update of the production he created for Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

“The Daughter of the Regiment” was composed by Gaetano Donizetti, with libretto by J.H. Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. It will be performed in French with English translations above the stage. The production had its world premiere at Paris Opéra Comique on Feb. 11, 1840.

— From SD Opera Reports