I had meant to see Opera Bel Cantanti's little production of Donizetti's comic opera La Fille du Régiment (premiered at the Opéra-Comique in 1840) earlier this month but never made it. French Cultural Attaché Roland Celette did see it and was so impressed that he invited the troupe to La Maison Française on Sunday evening, October 16, for an extra performance, which I finally managed to hear. Of the many interesting programs I have heard at the French embassy, this dippy little opera drew the largest crowd I have ever seen there, absolutely packing and sucking all of the good air out of the small auditorium.
Mark J. Estren, Bel Cantanti Opera (Washington Post, September 20)
T. L. Ponick, 'La Fille' fills bill as light offering (Washington Times, September 20)
Opera Bel Cantanti continues with a fairly full season this fall. We are hoping to hear their spring productions of two rarely heard Russian one-act operas, Rachmaninov's Aleko in February and Tchaikovsky's Iolanta in April. In my humble opinion, this is the best reason that minor opera companies exist, to perform works that never get done by large companies.