Two Shows Left This Weekend: Don Pasquale
There’s a saying that goes like this: “The apple never falls far from the tree.” What does it mean? Well, that the child is never completely different from the parent. Or the fledgling emulates the master.
For example: the Seattle Opera may well be grand, but it’s 21-week-long Young Artists Program (YAP), begun in 1998, is nothing to sneeze at, either. Right now, Donizetti’s Italian comedic opera Don Pasquale is currently being performed at the University of Washington’s Meany Hall, YAP’s first time there (they have traditionally performed every spring at the Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Bellevue). YAP’s Artistic Director Peter Kazaras set it in the mid-century times of Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita.
Only four performances are taking place: Friday, March 31st at 7:30 p.m. (your Hedonista attended as media); Saturday, April 1st at 2:00 p.m. (Happy April Fool’s); Friday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m; and Saturday, April 7th at 7:30 p.m.
Don Pasquale is a tale of teaching the father a lesson by the son. Well, really more by the son’s true love (Norina), whom the father-like uncle (Don Pasquale) has forbidden his nephew (Ernesto) to marry, for he has another woman in mind for him. Ernesto holds his ground and maintains his love for Norina, to which Don Pasquale responds by evicting and disinheriting Ernesto, and then taking a wife of his own.
Although I found that the bass, baritone and even tenor voices didn’t project as well over the dulcet tones coming from the orchestra pit as did the soprano’s voice, the performance, was, overall, highly entertaining. Amanda Opuszynski (Frasquita in Carmen) was a deliciously devilish Norina, with a powerful soprano voice to match. Tenor Andrew Stenson was a perfectly petulant Ernesto and Canadian (from Kitchener, Ontario) bass Michael Uloth was a certifiably clueless Don Pasquale. Baritone David Krohn (Dancaïre in Carmen) made a devious doc Dr. Malatesta (for he assists Norina in tricking her future father-in-law) and baritone Kenny Enlow does a comical (if brief) notary by the name of Carlotto. (He’s actually a a guest artist, a first-year UW grad student who’s studying vocal performance.) Overall, the performance gives off über-witty and retro-chic vibes.
Tickets for the remaining shows are $55 for adults and $20 for students. (NOTE: the roles of Norina, Ernesto, and Dr. Malatesta alternate between the cast above on March 31st and April 6th and Lindsay Russell, Jason Slayden, and Joseph Lattanzi, respectively.)
So if you want to see the ol’ man get his, you now know where to go this weekend.