Donizetti's Comic Opera Don Pasquale, With James Morris, at Kennedy Center
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The last date listed for Don Pasquale was Friday May 27, 2011 / 7:30pm.
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One of the creative minds behind some of the most enduring hits of the '60s, '70s and beyond, R&B superstar Valerie Simpson returns to the stage at The Blue Dolphin. Simpson, along with her husband and longtime musical partner, the late Nicholas Ashford, found success penning a string of chart-topping R&B and pop songs, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "I'm Every Woman," as well as writing and performing their 1984 hit single "Solid (As a Rock)." Simpson recently returned to the music scene following the death of her husband, and released her first solo album in several decades, Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar MemberRed Velvet
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What a wonderful show! "Don Pasquale" is a fabulous opera in itself: beautiful score and really funny lines (thank God in this case for surtitles). And, for those of us who love voices in the lower registers, the baritones/basses, this opera stars them as opposed to relegating them to subordinate roles. It is not only a musically complex opera, but complex in terms of the libretto, and not often performed in Washington.
As for the performance, ignore the Washington Post critic's review. What Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than about Paul - she comes across as a thoroughly sour, nastly person who, at the very least, must have had bile in her stomach the night she went. James Morris is absolutely MARVELOUS as Don Pasquale. His voice is terrific, his acting skills in this comic role were just great. Don Pasquale just oozed character to the point of becoming "real". The rest of the cast did a fine job also, though I did feel that tenor Antonio Gandia was a bit "wooden", not conveying the emotion and body-language of a passionate and often distraught lover, though this is something he has time to grow out of - whereas he was the only one the Post critic could find anything good at all to say about. (Either she, Anne Midgette, likes only opera performed in the static manner of the 19th/early 20th centuries, or she is a couger fascinated only by the young lover of the cast.) I would have chosen to present Norina a little differently, a little more subtly, but this particular production, including the costumes, is a bit campy. But then, as another reviewer said, it is "opera buffo" after all. As for the orchestra, under Israel Gursky, it struck just the right notes and timing.
In sum, "Don Pasquale" is a great opera, and is being admirably presented by the Washington Opera. And, James Morris is a not-to-be-missed Pasquale. Splash out for a ticket if you possibly can and go see it!
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Contrary to the Post reviewer we thoroughly enjoyed Don Pasquale. The singing and conducting were great, the costumes delightfully frivolous, and the plot quite amusing. The scene in which Don Pasquale completed his "bath" and got dressed was one...continued
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Absolutely spectacular. Siurina (Norina) and Gandia (Ernesto) are incredibly talented with absolutely beautiful voices. They gave a flawless performance. Top tier seating was a bit far and I would choose closer seats next time, but the performance...continued
Quotes & Highlights
Read about the cast and crew of WNO’s Don Pasquale.
Ernesto stands to inherit a fortune from his uncle, Don Pasquale, but only if he forsakes Norina, the woman he loves. Dr. Malatesta has a wild plan to help his friend, and in true opera buffa fashion, hilarity ensues, complete with a sham marriage, a slap in the face, rampant overspending, and disguise. Yikes! Don Pasquale’s uproarious plot and sublime music combine to make this one of Donizetti’s finest operas. Full of humor and poignancy, the charming and tuneful score features bright melodies with coloratura fireworks.
In his WNO debut, renowned American bass-baritone James Morris—best known for his stentorian, Wagnerian roles—takes a comic turn with his role debut as Don Pasquale. Young Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina makes her company debut as the delightful Norina, and esteemed American baritone Dwayne Croft returns as the conniving but well- meaning Dr. Malatesta.
WNO’s General Director Plácido Domingo takes the podium to lead Leon Major’s imaginatively dazzling production from New York City Opera.
*Cast and Creative Team
*Don Pasquale: James Morris
Norina: Ekaterina Siurina (May 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 27)
Julia Novikova (May 22m, 26)
Ernesto: Antonio Gandia (May 13, 16, 18, 21, 27)
Alexey Kudrya (May 22m, 24, 26)
Dr. Malatesta: Dwayne Croft
Notary: Jeffrey Tarr
Director: Leon Major
Conductor: Plácido Domingo (May 13, 18, 21, 22m, 26)
Israel Gursky (May 16, 24, 27)
Set/Costume Design: Allen Moyer
Lighting Design: Mark McCullough
Scenery and costumes originally created for Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera.