The Atlanta Opera continues its 2017-18 season with Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, known for its romance, comedy, and vocal acrobatics. Andriana Chuchman will make her Atlanta debut as Marie, the adopted “daughter” of the French 21st regiment. Santiago Ballerini, an alum of The Atlanta Opera Studio artist, returns to Atlanta as Tonio. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe makes her role debut as The Marquise of Berkenfeld. This production marks the debut of The Daughter of the Regiment at the Cobb Energy Centre, and the first presentation in Atlanta since 1985.
The Daughter of the Regiment tells the story of Marie, an orphan found on a battlefield and adopted by an entire French regiment. As a young vivandière, she grows up with more than 1,500 “fathers.” Years later, she falls in love with the handsome Tonio, a peasant who once saved her life. Just as their young love is blossoming, Marie is whisked away by a Marquise from her past who has news about her birth mother and is intent on raising her amongst aristocracy. Marie must decide to fall into place in upper-class society or to follow her heart.
The Atlanta Opera presents The Daughter of the Regiment on February 24, 27, March 2 and 4, 2018 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets start at $35 (before tax) and can be purchased at atlantaopera.org or by calling 404-881-8885. The opera will be performed in French with English supertitles.
“The Daughter of the Regiment is one of the most delightful bel canto operas in the repertoire,” said Tomer Zvulun, General and Artistic Director at The Atlanta Opera. “As the name suggests, bel canto is all about gorgeous singing and we are eager to share the enormous talents of this cast with the public. We are especially excited to bring Santiago Ballerini, Andriana Chuchman, and the inimitable Stephanie Blythe to Cobb Energy Center, under the baton of rising conducting star Christopher Allen.”
Donizetti’s screwball comedy will be directed by rising star E. Loren Meeker in her directorial debut with The Atlanta Opera. Meeker has received acclaim for her productions of Carmen at Washington National Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor at New Orleans Opera and La Bohème at Glimmerglass Festival.
Conductor Christopher Allen makes his debut with The Atlanta Opera. A native of Queens, New York, Maestro Allen recently received the 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, which recognizes conducting talents at the early stages of their careers. Mo. Allen is the John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, where he conducted Die Zauberflöte, Tosca, and the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. Recent debuts include the English National Opera and Washington National Opera (where he conducted The Daughter of the Regiment).
Andriana Chuchman makes her debut with The Atlanta Opera as the charming tomboy Marie. Chuchman recently performed the same role at Washington National Opera. This season, Chuchman reprised her role of Valencienne in The Merry Widow with the Metropolitan Opera. Recent opera engagements include the starring role of Eurydice in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Orphée et Eurydice, as well as debuts with Houston Grand Opera and the San Diego Opera. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Chuchman received her Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from the School of Music at the University of Manitoba.
Santiago Ballerini returns to Atlanta in his role debut as Tonio, the love interest of Marie. Ballerini was a member of the inaugural class of The Atlanta Opera Studio, the company’s artist-in-residence program. During his tenure, he covered the role of Ernesto in Don Pasquale. When lead Ji-Min Park fell ill, Ballerini stepped in on opening night and delivered a rousing performance. Following his time with The Atlanta Opera Studio, Ballerini covered the roles of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera, sang in Der Rosenkavalier at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and made his debut at Caramoor Summer Music Festival. Santiago Ballerini is sponsored by John and Rosemary Brown.
Stephanie Blythe makes her Atlanta Opera debut as the Marquise of Berkenfeld. Blythe is one of the most critically acclaimed artists in opera and has graced stages around the world, including the Met, Paris National, San Francisco and Chicago Lyric Operas. Highlights in 2017 included singing the roles of Cornelia in Julius Caesar at Houston Grand Opera, Tancredi in Tancredi at Opera Philadelphia, and a recital performance with The Metropolitan Opera.
Italian star Stefano de Peppo sings the role of Sulpice, the Sergeant of the 21stRegiment of the French army, and father-figure to Marie. Known for his Italian bass roles, Peppo recently sang the roles of Don Bartolo in The Barber of Seville at Opera de Massy, Don Pasquale in Don Pasquale at Chautauqua Opera Festival, and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola at Arizona Opera. Peppo was last seen in Atlanta in 2014 in The Barber of Seville.
*Running time is approximately 1 hours and 50 minutes and there will be 1 intermission.
Santiago Ballerini is sponsored by John and Rosemary Brown. The Friday evening performance is sponsored by Victoria and Howard Palefsky.
The Atlanta Opera recognizes Coca-Cola as the opening night sponsor and The Home Depot Foundation as the sponsor of the company’s veterans ticketing program.
The Daughter of the Regiment
By Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard
Conductor – Christopher Allen
Production Director – E. Loren Meeker
Costume Designer – James Schuette
Scenic Designer – Jim Noone
Lighting Designer – Rob Denton
Choreographer – Meg Gillentine
Marie – Andriana Chuchman*
Tonio – Santiago Ballerini
Sulpice – Stefano De Peppo
Marquise of Berkenfeld – Stephanie Blythe*
Hortensius – Tyler Simpson
Corporal – Christopher Dunham**
Notary – Edward McCreary
Peasant – Sung Bao
* Atlanta Opera Debut
** Member of The Atlanta Opera Studio
*Photo by Scott Suchman