Lisette is interviewed by My Chicago Athlete about her fitness regimen in Chicago
|The Marquise of Birkenfeld
|Duchess of Krakenthorp
Lyric Opera of Chicago is delighted to bring this production of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment — bel canto opera’s equivalent of vintage champagne — to the city for the first time. Marie, the lovable, irrepressible spirited heroine — a foundling, raised by soldiers — loves handsome Tonio. Things get complicated when the Marquise carts her off to refine her with a “proper” education. In one exhilarating number after another, Marie throws off coloratura flourishes like shooting stars, while her tenor sweetheart pops out nine high Cs in a single aria! Bel canto superstar Lawrence Brownlee and comedic veteran Alessandro Corbelli partner with the dazzling Lisette Oropesa in her eagerly awaited Lyric debut. The marvelously stylish Speranza Scappucci conducts Laurent Pelly’s quick-witted, uproarious production.
The ultimate star of the show, though, is Oropesa, an American soprano who is making her Lyric debut. An innate physical comedian with a comfortable, compelling stage presence, she is a complete natural as Marie.
Oropesa has a supple, agile soprano voice, with a winningly honest and direct style. Seemingly unfazed by the vocal or physical demands of this role, this indefatigable singer handles its legendary coloratura with eye-opening ease and aplomb. Expect to see Oropesa back as soon as Lyric can re-sign her.— Kyle MacMillan • Chicago Sun Times
a rollicking performance by soprano Lisette Oropesa as the heroine, Maria, in a Lyric debut that suggests a mash-up of Carol Burnett and Lily Pons.— Deanna Isaacs • Chicago Reader
Oropesa has sung Marie before — opposite Brownlee, no less, including a 2016 Washington National Opera production now famous for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cameo appearance as the Duchess of Crakentorp. Gawky and tomboyish, Oropesa’s Marie owns “Régiment’s” most hilarious and most vocally sublime moments. Oropesa’s coloratura stylings have a sturdy backbone, easily carrying over the orchestra and through the hall. Her upper register is tenacious, too — twice in this staging, Oropesa has to hit high notes while being hoisted in the air by castmates. Hearing her, one would never guess she was being tossed around like a Raggedy Ann doll while slugging out Ds above the staff.
But like Brownlee, Oropesa’s very best moments get bundled in balladic arias. Act 1′s “Il faut partir” and Act 2′s “Par le rang et par l’opulence,” in which Marie grieves leaving her beloved regiment behind, melt in the ear and pierce the heart. Later, she heralds their reunion with a gleaming “Quand le destin.”— Hannah Edgar • Chicago Tribune
Lisette Oropesa makes her Lyric debut in the title role, and is engaging every moment she is on stage. Her soprano floats beautifully with purity of tone, and there are thrilling top notes. Her virtuosic coloratura is a joy. Oropesa is also a splendid actress. In the first act she presents a spunky, headstrong tomboy with ebullient comedy, immediately endearing us to Marie. Her physical humor is pitched perfectly, with just the right amount of silliness. It is delightful that many of her funny gestures and movements are designed to match the music’s rhythms.
When Marie is forced to hat up and leave the regiment with the Marquise, thus putting many klicks between her and those she loves, Oropesa turns to the comedy of obstinance. Every time she catches flak from the Marquise she generates many giggles with her pouting and mulish antics.— M.L. Rantala • Hyde Park Herald