“Bel canto” stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena team up for a feast of vocal fireworks in this beloved comic opera.
This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis,” with its nine high Cs. Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks in this story of a young orphan girl who is raised by an army regiment as their mascot. Complications (and comedy) ensue when she begins feeling the first stirrings of love and her true identity as a woman is discovered.
The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters—like the comic Sergeant Sulpice (Maurizio Muraro) and the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield (Stephanie Blythe)—and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way. The remarkable stage and screen actress Kathleen Turner joins the cast in the non-singing role of Duchess of Krakenthorp. Enrique Mazzola conducts Donizetti’s entertaining score, a combination of jaunty military tunes, brisk comic numbers and sparkling arias. Runtime: 2h35m
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