Opera: Don Pasquale
Robert Thicknesse at Covent Garden
JONATHAN MILLER certainly has it in for Covent Garden. A few weeks ago he hilariously described the crowd here as "Harrods Food Hall gives up its dead", and to continue the metaphor he has served up the most culinary (as in pap) production of Donizetti's last opera buffa. This should be one of the most delightful evenings available in the opera house but somehow this tale of a curmudgeonly old man getting his comeuppance does not seem to have rung the doctor's bell -- odd, eh?
Well, good news first. Unlike most recent imported Covent Garden productions (this one comes from Florence) most of it is actually visible from everywhere in the house. Isabella Bywater provides a jolly, three-storey doll's house set, two rooms on each level and a stairwell going up the middle: nine spaces to fill with Miller's relentless business.
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Recommended opera score:
Don Pasquale (Opera Vocal Score Series):
A Comedy in 3 Acts