03 Apr 2006

Don Pasquale at the Met

Don Pasquale is generally considered one of Donizetti's greatest works. Yet, "[o]f the three Donizetti operas being performed at The Met this season, the comedy Don Pasquale has been out of the repertoire for the longest time." This season the opera returns with bass Simone Alaimo (Don Pasquale), soprano Anna Netrebko (Norina) and tenor Juan Diego Flórez (Ernesto). Here are four reviews.

'Don Pasquale' in a New Production at the Met by Otto Schenk
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 3 April 2006]

Savvy directors and actors understand that the only way to make a rich comedy truly funny is to take it seriously. For a brilliant demonstration of this principle in action, go to the Metropolitan Opera for the director Otto Schenk's wonderful new production of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale," which opened on Friday night.

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A Grand Night at the Opera

By JAY NORDLINGER [NY Sun, 3 April 2006]

It promised to be a wonderful time at the Metropolitan Opera - and it was. What had been so promising? Well, first, the opera was "Don Pasquale," Donizetti's fabulous farce about an old man who contrives to get married, wanting to disinherit his nephew, and ... But if you get into the plot of an opera buffa, you get into the weeds.

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Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera, New York

By Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 3 April 2006]

It was one of those gosh-we’re-great nights at the opera. The mighty Met, ever true to yesterday, celebrated stylistic retrogression while mustering its first Don Pasquale in 26 years. Otto Schenk, grand old man of Austrian kitsch, was coaxed out of retirement for a final fling at let’s-pretend stage-direction. Rolf Langenfass provided dauntlessly picturesque decors. The cast looked stellar on paper, and the proud first-nighters registered push-button approval. Too bad the wonders ceased.

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Vamping taints an all-too-merry widow


It all looked so promising on paper: Four winning principals in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale," the wise and urbane 1843 masterpiece last heard at the Metropolitan Opera more than a quarter-century ago.

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Click here for an overview of Don Pasquale.