Donizetti: La figlia del reggimento

COMPOSERS: Donizetti
LABELS: Naxos
ALBUM TITLE: Donizetti
WORKS: La figlia del reggimento
PERFORMER: Maria Costanza Nocentini, Giorgio Casciarri, Luciano Miotto, Milijana Nikolic; Orchestra e Coro del Teatro/Marzio Conti
CATALOGUE NO: 8.660161
Premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1840, Donizetti’s delightful military comedy was adapted and translated into Italian for its La Scala premiere later that same year. Donizetti’s own alterations to his score are not all heard here – the tenor’s star number was partially dropped at La Scala, to be replaced by an aria from the earlier Gianni di Calais, though for some reason we get the original, repositioned, but still with the famous nine top Cs. But we do hear the recitatives (with piano continuo) Donizetti added for Italy, where dialogue had to be sung, not spoken. So this is a somewhat confused edition of what is in any case a secondary version of the score, not a radical rewrite.

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The performance here is of an acceptable provincial standard, rather than that of an international house, but the orchestra and chorus are decent, and the conducting has real verve. Maria Costanza Nocentini is not always smack in the centre of her notes and doesn’t exactly make light work of the coloratura, but she has a sense of style. Giorgio Casciarri is generally dogged rather than being fluent as Tonio, and his top notes are hard-working rather than proficient. The rest is good to middling. George Hall