Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Article excerpt

In the wake of the sobering, sensitive and unquestionably successful Margaret Garner, Michigan Opera Theatre can easily be excused a bit of frivolous fun for the season's closer. Not that La fille du regiment lacks a serious side, but MOT's production lost no opportunity to aim for the belly laughs, or at least a warm tickle. Dorothy Danner's production, in Boyd Ostroff's visibly cost-effective sets, moved things along nicely and kept the audience generally happy, but there was little concession to the gentler charm and elegance that are very much part of this score. In the pit, Suzanne Mallare Acton managed a better balance; in fact, in "Il faut partir," the orchestra's songful yearning hit its mark as touchingly as Tracy Dahl's neatly weighted bel canto on stage.

Dahl was surely the star of this enterprise (though Anita Johnson sang alternate performances), with a voice and figure that make the role of the spunky but sentimental Marie a natural. Though her tones may not be quite as round as they were a decade ago, or her legato quite so smooth, she filled the role's contours admirably in nearly every way, with ample charm and understated virtuosity.

In this opera, it's hard to escape memories of Sutherland and Pavarotti, and while Dahl survived the comparison with her own set of skills, her tenor partner wasn't so lucky. …

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