Saturday afternoon, February 8th at NOON
This month we’ll be showing the La Fille du regiment, an opéra comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The last time we showed this opera several people came up to me and said that of all the operas they have seen this one has just become their favorite. It’s a feel-good opera and you will be smiling on your way home.
This delightful opera is famous for the aria, “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” which has been called the “Mount Everest” for tenors. It features nine high Cs and comes comparatively early in the opera, giving the singer less time to warm up his voice. Luciano Pavarotti’s stardom is remembered by a performance with Joan Sutherland at the Met, when he “leapt over the ‘Becher’s Brook’ [a famous jump at the Grand National] of the string of high Cs with an ease that left everyone gasping.”
Juan Diego Flórez performed “Ah! mes amis” at La Scala, and then, on popular demand, repeated it, breaking a 74-year embargo on encores at the legendary Milanese opera house. He repeated this feat on April 21, 2008, the opening night of the 2007 London production at the Met, with Natalie Dessay as Marie. Following appearances at La Scala and Covent Garden, Flórez has been anointed as the new Pavarotti.
La Fille du Regiment may not be Donizetti’s best work, but given a top-notch production with world-class singing actors like Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, it brings vocal thrills and an abundance of laughs — a combination that’s hard to beat.
Newcomers to opera — These DVD presentations by the Pescadero Opera Society are a great way to learn about opera. The atmosphere is always friendly and informal — never stuffy. An introduction to the opera is given before the show, letting you know what you are about to see and hear, and any opera trivia available. Programs are provided that include a synopsis of the opera. The DVD includes English subtitles, and there’s always room for questions and discussion.
The opera is held in our fabulous Event Hall (lovingly referred to as “The Barn”). It will be shown on our wonderful giant-sized Gracie Anderson Memorial Movie Screen (donated by her son, Rodney), in six-channel digital surround-sound (donated by Jason Skinner and family, and several yard sales). Sit in our comfy theater seats (donated by Coastal Repertory Theatre), all set on our wonderful carpeting from the Ritz Carlton ballroom (donated by Kevin Palmer of Floors to Go, Premier Termite & the Long Branch Saloon/Event Center). Munch on popcorn from our fantastic popcorn machine (donated by Chris and Suneva from Aratas Pumpkin Farm). Keep warm and cozy with our 60,000 BTU heater and enjoy the show with our fabulous new projector (both made possible by your generous donations).
Socializing, barbecue and pot luck are held between 12:00-1:00 p.m. We will provide the main dish, large salad, drinks and snacks. Please bring a dish that you want to share for the pot luck. The opera starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. with a brief introduction by Phyllis Neumann.
Opera Programs. If you want to bone up on this month’s opera before you come, be sure to download the synopsis of the opera from the Synopses section the Pescadero Opera website.
Opera Schedule 2019-20
Pot-luck and socializing: 12:00 p.m. DVD opera presentation: 1:00 p.m.
Starring Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel
Starring Isabel Leonard, Christopher Maltman; conducted by Robert Spano
Starring Renee Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ramón Vargas
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa and Hermann Prey; conducted by Plácido Domingo
Starring Nadja Michael, Thomas Moser and Michael Volle
Starring Réne Pape, Erika Miklósa, Ying Huang and Nathan Gunn; a Julie Taymor Production
Starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez
“Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini
Starring Plácido Domingo, Eva Marton and Leona Mitchell
“The Consul“ by Gian-Carlo Menotti
Starring Patricia Neway, Chester Ludgin and Evelyn Sachs
Wagner’s Dream: An Introduction to Wagner’s “Ring Cycle”
This begins our Summer Season six-week course on Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen”)