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All toast Tonio, who pledges allegiance to France, and Marie is encouraged to sing the regimental song: (aria: Chacun le sait, chacun le dit / "Everyone knows it, everyone says it").
As a non-singing role, the Duchess of Crakenthorp is often played by non-operatic celebrities, including actresses such as Dawn French, Bea Arthur, Hermione Gingold, and Kathleen Turner, or by retired opera greats such as Kiri Te Kanawa and Montserrat Caballé.
In 2016, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifelong opera fan, played the Duchess on opening night of the Washington National Opera's production.
The Marquise explains that they are trying to return to her castle and asks for an escort.
When hearing the name Berkenfield, Sulpice immediately recognizes it from a letter found with Marie as an infant.
Fighting is raging in the Tyrols and the Marquise of Berkenfield, who is traveling in the area, is alarmed to the point of needing smelling salts to be administered by her faithful steward, Hortensius.
While a chorus of villagers express their fear, the Marquise does the same: Pour une femme de mon nom / "For a lady of my family, what a time, alas, is war-time".La fille du régiment quickly became a popular success partly because of the famous aria "Ah! ", which requires of the tenor no fewer than eight high Cs – a frequently sung ninth is not written.The noted French tenor Gilbert Duprez, who was present, later observed in his Souvenirs d'un chanteur: "Donizetti often swore to me how his self-esteem as a composer had suffered in Paris.Marie, the vivandière (canteen girl) of the Regiment, enters, and Sulpice is happy to see her: (duet: Sulpice and Marie: Mais, qui vient? At that moment, Tonio is brought in as a prisoner, because he has been seen prowling around the camp.Marie saves him from the soldiers, who demand that he must die, by explaining that he had saved her life when she nearly fell while mountain-climbing.She quickly tells him that he must gain the approval of her "fathers": the soldiers of the Regiment, who found her on the battlefield as an abandoned baby, and adopted her.He proclaims his love for her (aria, then love duet with Marie: Depuis l'instant ou, dans mes bras / "Ever since that moment when you fell and / I caught you, all trembling in my arms..."), and then the couple express their love for each other.He was never treated there according to his merits.I myself saw the unsuccess, almost the collapse, of La fille du régiment." It received a highly negative review from the French critic and composer Hector Berlioz (Journal des débats, 16 February 1840), who claimed it could not be taken seriously by either the public or its composer, although Berlioz did concede that some of the music, "the little waltz that serves as the entr'acte and the trio dialogué ...At that point, Sulpice returns, surprising the young couple, who leave.The Marquise arrives with Hortensius, initially afraid of the soldier, but is calmed by him.