For the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the 2014 to 2015 season has seen new things all over.
From its new office on 25th Street South to staging its last show in a different venue, the company keeps shaking things up, and its season closer couldn’t prove this better. “Daughter of the Regiment,” a comic opera from 1840, makes its area premiere next weekend and embodies the phrase “ending on a high note.”
Nine high C’s in a tenor aria of the first act give the audience reason to be at rapt attention when these notes hit the atmosphere of Festival Concert Hall. And fortunately for all those in attendance, the verve behind the vocals has experience in this department.
Ladies and gentlemen, Gennard Lombardozzi.
“This is a role he’s done two or three times before,” David Hamilton, F-M Opera executive director, said of the Concordia College alum and past company performer. “He has the experience, which is nice because the other leads haven’t done their roles before. So it’s always good to have someone who is sort of an anchor.”
Performed for the first time in the region, “Daughter of the Regiment” is certainly new to many, and if Lombardozzi’s performance isn’t notable enough (pun, anyone?), hang on to a plot that should be very appealing.
Canteen girl Marie is ousted from her military upbringing for the aristocratic lifestyle of her origin as the daughter of a marquis. Meanwhile, the man she loves from the opposing army enlists in the ranks of her regiment as she leaves that life behind (for the time being).
Though 175 years old, “Daughter of the Regiment” has seen a bump in popularity in the recent, distant past, Hamilton said.
“It somewhat re-surged about 40 years ago, so it’s high time it came to Fargo.”
The people presenting the show are a combination of new and known faces from a variety of backgrounds: from two students of the opera’s Young Artist Program to new music faculty at NDSU to a gaggle of Concordia students, those onstage number near 30.
Leading lady Mariane Lemieux-Wottrich has especially come in handy. In addition to her performance in the title role, Lemieux-Wottrich lends a hand with lingual expertise from her Quebecois background.
“French is her native language, so it’s a really good resource for the cast in this one,” Hamilton said, “to have someone who is a native French speaker.”
Though the show is in French, never fear: English translation slides above the stage will help the audience interpret the dialogue. There should be no barrier to enjoying this show or the operatic art form.
“Come out and try something new to Fargo,” Hamilton said of the title. “Come out and have just a fun evening in the theater. It’s an evening that’ll still leave you with plenty of time to go out and have a nice nightcap after the show.”
“Daughter of the Regiment”
7:30 p.m. Fri., April 10; 2 p.m. Sun., April 12
NDSU’s Festival Concert Hall
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