Seattle Young Artists Program Presents Donizetti’s Don Pasquale

04/04/2012

United StatesUnited States Donizetti, Don Pasquale: Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, soloists, Seattle Opera Young Artists Program Orchestra, Brian Garman (conductor), Peter Kazaras (director), Meany Hall, Seattle, 31.3.2012 (BJ)

There was, as usual, a deal of good singing to be heard in this, the Young Artists Program’s first appearance in the University of Washington’s Meany Hall, to which the program has migrated from its smaller former venue in Bellevue.

The title role was strongly taken by Michael Uloth, who succeeded in making Don Pasquale a figure of pathos rather than sheer absurdity. David Krohn was a crisply witty Dr. Malatesta. I am not about to suggest that the opening-night Ernesto, Andrew Stenson, is the next Tito Schipa, but he has a fine tenor voice that he uses with some discretion—and if his rather loud serenata in Act 3 abandoned that discretion, well, the great Schipa himself can be heard shouting a bit in the classic La Scala recording of 1932. The one guest in the cast, Kenny Enlow, offered a suitably comic Carlotto. But the most impressive singing of all came from Amanda Opuszynski, a Norina of charming voice, dazzling technical facility, and the sort of fetching appearance one doesn’t always have the pleasure of watching in the role.

For this production (shorn of the relatively minor choral component) director Peter Kazaras had transferred the action to 1950s or ’60s Rome, the period of Fellini’s La dolce vita. The change of period mostly worked well enough, though it was odd that a young man of that time should express the consternation we heard from Ernesto at the prospect of such essentially 19th-century problems as being disinherited by his uncle and having to find some place to live out the rest of his life in lonely misery. I also doubt whether any 1950s or ’60s gentleman, Italian or otherwise, would have persisted in keeping his hat on indoors—a distinct breach of etiquette, as I learned at a very early age.

In other respects Deborah Trout’s costumes were appropriate and attractive, and the sets by Donald Eastman and lighting by Chris Reay worked beautifully. The YAP’s music director, Brian Garman, is a talented conductor, whose work I have had many occasions to admire. This time I found the orchestra a tad coarse in tone and some of the wind and brass solos somewhat approximate in intonation. But all things considered, this Don Pasquale was a thoroughly enjoyable success, and certainly it boded well for the future careers of the singers who have the good fortune to participate in Kazaras’s excellent program.

Bernard Jacobson

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • UPDATED ONLINE NEWS! IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Glyndebourne Festival Opera opens for a 2020 summer season __________________________________
  • NEW! Baritone Federico Longhi’s Rigoletto is part of Parma’s June Verdian renaissance __________________________________
  • NEW! 69th Wexford Festival Opera – 11 to 18 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Dresden’s Semperoper reopens with Anna Netrebko on 19 June __________________________________
  • NEW! Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal in 2020-21 __________________________________
  • NEW! LMP’s first UK chamber orchestra performances since Covid-19 struck __________________________________
  • NEW! 2020 Celebration of Aldeburgh Festivals with BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four – 12-28 June __________________________________
  • NEW! Oxford Lieder Festival – 10-17 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Metropolitan Opera (2020–)2021 season update __________________________________
  • NEW! Royal Opera House announces first live concert since beginning of lockdown __________________________________
  • NEW! Semi-staged Das Rheingold on Deutsche Oper Berlin’s parking deck from 12 June __________________________________
  • NEW! A breath of fresh air: Opera Holland Park announces 2021 season __________________________________
  • NEW! Grange Park Opera’s 2020 Found Season – 4 June to 12 July __________________________________
  • UPDATE! 2020 BBC Proms – 17 July to 12 September __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2020 Salzburg Festival – 1 to 30 August __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival’s 2020 online series of concerts and talks __________________________________
  • The Singapore Symphony in 2020-2021 __________________________________
  • Musikfest Berlin 2020 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Search S&H

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • UPDATED ONLINE NEWS! IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience __________________________________
  • NEW! The Music Critics Association of North America Best New Opera Award to Blue __________________________________
  • NEW! Lincoln Center honors Pride with a light installation on its iconic plaza __________________________________
  • R.I.P. Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020): Did we really need Vera Lynn during the war? __________________________________
  • NEW! What price Sherlock Holmes? __________________________________
  • NEW! BBC to show the ROH’s first post-lockdown performance and their other recent music news __________________________________
  • NEW! Woody Allen comes back fighting with a book and A Rainy Day in New York __________________________________
  • NEW! Educating Rita, says who? __________________________________
  • NEW! 2020 Three Choirs Festival – postponed __________________________________
  • NEW! ACCOMPANIST OR PARTNER? PIANIST SUSIE ALLAN IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN QUINN __________________________________
  • NEW! Need to escape reality? Enter into the magical world of composer David Hertzberg __________________________________
  • NEW! BTHVN2020 – Beethoven anniversary goes into overtime __________________________________
  • Remembering Margaret Rutherford: murder on and off screen __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month