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Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis,” with its nine high Cs. Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trade off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. Enrique Mazzola conducts.
World Premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1840. This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy) ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.