Dessay Daughter

French soldiers burst into scene pushing along a bound man - it's Tonio.They inform Sergeant Sulpice the he was found snooping outside the soldier's camp, but Tonio claims he was only looking for Marie.

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The marquise confesses that Marie is actually her own daughter, but does not want to announce it out of fear of being disgraced. Marie has mixed emotions; grateful she has been reunited with her mother, but sick to her stomach that she would have to marry a man she doesn't love.

When the duke arrives with his wedding party, no one can get Marie to leave her room. Marie ultimately decides to honor her mother's wishes and agrees to marry the duke.

Act 1While traveling to Austria, the Marquise of Birkenfeld and her butler, Hortensius, are suddenly stopped by a blockade caused by the French army.

Both are frightened by the battle between the French and the Tyrols and wait with the local villagers.

Marie is overjoyed and greets her friends enthusiastically. Before she can say anything, the marquise walks back into the hall and declares that Marie is engaged to the duke.

The marquise coldly dismisses Tonio, then pulls the sergeant aside to speak with him privately.Sergeant Sulpice, who is there to recover from an injury and help the marquise with her plans, is asked by the marquise to help convince Marie it is best for her to marry the duke. Later, the marquise sits down at the piano and instructs Marie in a singing lesson.The sergeant watches as Marie keeps wavering back in forth from what she's supposed to sing and the regimental song she used to sing with the soldiers.She orders the Sergeant to release Marie into her care and announces she will take her back to her castle. As they prepare to depart, Tonio rushes in excitedly.He has just enlisted into the ranks of the 21st regiment and asks Marie to marry him.The soldiers quickly change their mind and begin favoring Tonio, especially after he pledges his allegiance to France.Sergeant Sulpice leads Tonio and his troops back to camp.The marquise is quickly angered and storms out of the room.Moments later, the sound of marching footsteps his heard outside and the troops of the 21st regiment begin making their way into the hall.Fraught with musical errors and out-of-tune singing, the opera was harshly criticized by notable romantic period composer Hector Berlioz (read the synopsis of Berlioz' opera, ) less than a week later.(In a interview given by Berlioz some time later, he revealed that one couldn't find a theater in Paris that wasn't performing one of Donizetti's operas.


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