Daughter of the Regiment reviews

Daughter Regiment GPO-2527

Culture Whisper ★★★★★

A hilarious new production of Donizetti’s comedy is as musical as it is funny

“Sitkovetsky is on top form, her voice effortlessly leaping around while maintaining excellent clarity.”

“Darmanin, playing her lover, Tonio, rises to the double challenge of matching Sitkovetsky and singing ‘Ah mes amis!‘, the Mount Everest of arias for tenors, and one that brought international stardom for Pavarotti. The aria ends in a volley of spectacular high Cs, yet Darmanin sounds as if he could easily manage an encore.”


The Telegraph ★★★★

A production of unbridled joy

“There are no surtitles for this English version – and, remarkably, almost every word could be heard. It’s carried by Sitkovetsky’s clear diction; her creamy coloratura soprano enhanced in duet with tenor Nico Darmanin, who, as Tonio, climbs the Everestian nine high Cs in ‘Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!’.”

“Grange Park Opera’s Gascoigne Orchestra – the ensemble takes its name from the organisation’s founding patrons – sprinkles sparkle among the salutes. We’re tapping our feet along to Sitkovetsky’s solos; swaying to the waltz. “What a joy,” sings Tonio. What joy indeed.”


Daughter Regiment GPO -888
Daughter Regiment GPO-8134

The Times ★★★★

A great showing for the ideal country-house opera

“John Doyle and Nikki Woollaston, co-directors of Grange Park Opera’s staging, wisely do nothing to complicate the fun and much to enhance it.”

“There’s a characterful Sergeant Sulpice from the Italian baritone Enrico Marabelli, and full-blooded chorus singing.”

“If you crave a bit of musical delicacy in an evening that’s mostly about rambunctious flamboyance, don’t be late for the overture, in which the opening unaccompanied solo is exquisitely played by Caroline O’Connell, first horn of the excellent Gascoigne Orchestra.”


The Guildford Dragon

A sparkling new production of Donizetti’s comic opera overflows with spirit and charm

“Co-directors Nikki Woollaston and John Doyle bring wonderful verve and freshness to Donizetti’s opera.”

“Soprano Julia Sitkovetsky excels as Marie, while Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin shines as Tonio, the young Tyrolean who captures her heart.”

“Swerves of plot provide ample opportunity for humour, which this talented cast exploits to the full: notably Anna Steiger as the Marquise of Berkenfield (supposedly, Marie’s aunt), Enrico Marabelli as Sergeant Sulpice and Harriet Thorpe (best known for her role in EastEnders) as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.”


Daughter Regiment GPO-2163
Daughter Regiment GPO-2577

Plays To See ★★★★ (4.5)

In Julia Sitkovetsky and Nico Darmanin, Grange Park Opera has secured two outstanding practitioners

“The chorus that comprise the regiment are quite superb in their precision of attack and warmth of tone, whether in drinking or marching songs or more wistful numbers. As my companion said, ‘This is a toe-tapping opera’, and the credit for this rests ultimately with the singing soldiery.”

“From the very opening horn and violin solos that start each act you know you are in the safe hands of a fine band of tip-top instrumentalists, and Levacher ensures not only a good balance between singers and players but a wide dynamic range including some ravishingly quiet moments in the more reflective numbers.”

“One of the finest moments in the work is when Marie’s massacring of a sentimental salon piece (it takes real talent to sing that badly!) is interrupted by the regimental ‘rataplan’. I cannot recall a funnier version of this number.”

“Overall this is a delightfully diverting evening that not even apocalyptical June downpours could depress: as a champagne operatic outing you will not find better this summer.”