Don Pasquale @ ROH

Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel heads the cast for this new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations. The witty story of a middle-aged man whose supposed young wife runs rings around him – with her own ulterior romantic purpose in mind – has long delighted and surprised audiences, not least as presented with the sparkle of its music and the virtuoso skill of its performers. Damiano Michieletto’s exhilarating production shows how contemporary the characters still are and how immediate and touching the story remains.

Company: The Royal Opera
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto 1: Giovanni Ruffini
Libretto 2: Gaetano Donizetti
Director: Damiano Michieletto
Set designer: Paolo Fantin
Costume designer: Agostino Cavalca
Lighting designer: Alessandro Carletti
Video designer: rocafilm

Approximate running times:
Act I and II: 1 hour 25 minutes
Interval: 25 minutes
Act III: 45 minutes

Language: Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Generous philanthropic support from
The Friends of Covent Garden.

A co-production with:
Opéra national de Paris and Teatro Massimo, Palermo

CAST: at live screening on 24 October 2019
Don Pasquale______________Bryn Terfel
Ernesto___________________Ioan Hotea
(his nephew)
Doctor Malatesta__________Markus Werba
Norina____________________Olga Peretyatko
(a young widow in love with Ernesto)
A Notary__________________Bryan Secombe
(in reality Malatesta’s cousin Carlotto)

In my opinion, there was nothing weak about this performance.
Individual instruments were allowed to shine, eg. at the beginning of the Ouverture, making it sound like an Orchestra of soloists.
Sets, placed in modern times, did not feel out of place with the story.
Structures, décor, seemed to me to have nothing superfluous but nothing missing either.
The entire cast seemed to bring the warmth of the Mediterranean to the screen, beautifully guided, I imagine, by this creative team.
Everyone’s voice seemed to me exactly right for the part and made it look perfectly easy, totally natural, like they had always been these characters!
Characters seemed to me more than simple caricatures, they seemed carefully considered and deepened with imaginative and thought provoking additions.