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La Bonne D’Enfant Makes American Debut In The Hamptons

Chelsea Katz

Ashley Bell plays the lead soprano, Dorethée. (Photo: Clemente Colon)

Offenbach's one-act comedic operetta "La Bonne D'Enfant," or "The Babysitter" will make its American debut at Salome Chamber Orchestra's music festival on Sunday, August 25, at Nova's Art Project in Bridgehampton. Or moreso, the Divaria Productions is pretty sure that nobody has performed it in the States since there are not any recordings.

"I think they should expect not something traditional that you would go to see when you see an opera," said Ashley Bell, who plays the lead soprano, Dorethée.

The mini-opera encourages viewers to reevaluate their own lives and take a stand against evils in their own community. The words have been translated to English but the French arias remain.

Dorethée is left alone to babysit while her employers head to a dinner party. Alone with an infant, she starts to contemplate marrying her way out of the bourgeoisie. The tenor chimneysweep, played by Esteban Cordero, and the baritone fireman, played by Clayton Brown, both pursue the babysitter who ultimately decides to marry the trumpeter of the Royal Dragoons, Brin D'Amour, played by John Galas.

"There are certain comedic situations- basically all the suitors show up at the house and there are several situations that could turn into something compromising," Bell said of her favorite parts. "There are definitely things you are not supposed to see with a woman taking care of a baby."

For more information about Salome Chamber Orchestra visit www.salomechamber.org. For more information about Divaria Productions visit www.divariaproductions.com.

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