Don Pasquale, Royal Opera critic, Norwich Theater

7.15 a.m. December 9, 2021

9:16 a.m. on December 10, 2021

Travel back in time to the romantic past with a story that feels all too familiar – forbidden love, but with a touch of humor.

Don Pasquale from Glyndebourne’s opera tells about a love triangle: an elderly bachelor named Don Pasquale (Ricardo Seguel), his nephew Ernesto (Konu Kim) and Norina (Mariam Battistelli), on their love quests.

A character called Maletesta (Konstantin Suchkov) pulls the strings.

Don Pasquale was at the Norwich Theater Royal on November 26
– Credit: Robbie Jack

The orchestra brings the story to life from the first note, and audiences get a taste of the talent and playfulness of the show to come.

We find Don Pasquale in declining health and desperate for a woman. So much so that his despair makes him vulnerable and the target of Malatesta’s complex plan which places poor Don Pasquale as a victim of love.

The adorable Ricardo Seguel as Don Pasquale expertly treats us with great displays of naive love, deception, defiance and finally acceptance.

Audiences are won over by Konu Kim as Ernesto from his first line as he utters every word with such power, characterized by a familiar pouting teenage angst that perfectly sums up the emotional child in all of us.

Ernesto and Norina happy to be alone together

Don Pasquale is a comic opera centered on playfulness and love
– Credit: Robbie Jack

Mariam Battistelli as Norina grabs attention with her racy soprano – she’s the perfect blend of alluring feminine charm, devilish mischief and fiery temper.

Just as Malatesta commands the plot, Konstantin Suchkov does the same by commanding his audience scene after scene.

A spectacular scene is created towards the end by the glamorously dressed Glyndebourne choir in white, set with a stunning sunset as a backdrop.

Don Pasquale and the Glyndebourne Chorus together on stage November 26

Don Pasquale and the Glyndebourne Chorus shared the stage on November 26
– Credit: Robbie Jack

Through enchanting harmonies, the line between audience and choir is bridged as we learn about their insider gossip on the subject of our love drama.

The opera reminds audiences that no matter how much we may argue and disagree with others, we are all human, sharing the same hopes and fears.

All in all, the director Mariame Clément, with the help of the actors, the choir and the orchestra, manages to lead a production that makes for a beautiful evening.

The opera is performed in Italian, with English surtitles displayed above the stage.

The show has now evolved, but you can then see the opera in Norwich with La Boheme in May 2022.

About Madeline J. Carter

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