Review Round Up: Don Pasquale, Royal Opera House

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Royal Opera House’s production of  Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama .

(c) Clive Barda.

The Independent: *** “there are times when Michieletto’s tinkerings are simply distracting, and we lose that sense of a claustrophobic world that is essential to the comedy.”

Daily Express: **** ” Michieletto’s innovations simply introduce pure fun when the opera needs it. It could be accused of going too far, but the audience seemed to love it and I certainly did.”

The Observer: “The production, first seen in Paris earlier this year, is uneven. Yet the music wins out, vibrantly and effervescently. Pidò, a bel canto authority, conducted with crispness and finesse.”

The Stage: **** “There’s impeccable work throughout from the company’s chorus and orchestra, while conductor Evelino Pidò knows exactly how such a piece should go.”

The Telegraph: *** ” Terfel’s bass-baritone has audibly aged, shorn of some of its warmth and fullness. It’s developed a dry, rasping edge and lost the crisp lithe dexterity with which to articulate fast patter. But it’s still a large, healthy instrument, and Terfel never sounds like the septuagenarian specified by the libretto.”

Bachtrack: ** “Evelino Pidò offered spirited resistance in the pit, the orchestra ripping into the guffaw that launches Donizetti’s overture. If only the rest of the evening had offered as much charm and joy.”

Evening Standard: *** “Damiano Michieletto’s new production works overtime to boost the frolic factor of what is sometimes a pallid comedy, throwing every trick at updating the action. We get selfies, mobile phone gags, video projections, puppets and all kinds of comic exaggeration, of which Terfel is a master.”

The FT: **** “Olga Peretyatko, making her Royal Opera debut, has a soprano of diamond-cut brilliance for the mettlesome Norina.”

Opera Today: “Michieletto emphasises the cruelty inflicted upon Don Pasquale by Norina and Malatesta, and if this doesn’t dampen the innate comedy then this is in no small part due to the wily acting of Bryn Terfel as the lecherous old Pasquale.”

MusicOMH: **** “Sir Bryn Terfel’s Don Pasquale was masterful, and he pulled out every expressive stop in the role. The solid, characterful baritone for which he is known was mostly all there, but there was the occasional rusty moment. Markus Werba’s Malatesta matched Terfel well, such that their baritone conversations (‘Son nov’ore) were nicely balanced, particularly in the duets”

Seen and Heard: “What was not a surprise was Bryn Terfel’s excellence in the title role. This was his role debut, but it felt as he had inhabited the role as long as he had clearly inhabited the dressing gown he wore. Terfel’s comic-book expressions were beautifully judged – he is as lovable here as he is in Falstaff. The voice might not be quite as commanding as it once was, but it remains an imposing instrument.”

British Theatre Guide: “a clever interpretation, one that captivates the ear, mind, and eye.” ***** “Far from a drab and arduous evening at the opera, Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House is a dynamic and crisp production that is sure to split your sides.”

The Daily Mail: *** “Terfel shares the honours with the conductor Evelino Pidò, whose phrasing of the overture (played, thankfully, with the curtain down) is an absolute joy.”

Plays to See: ***** “Olga Peretyatko captures the character of the wily, seductive Norina. Vocally beguiling, Peretyatko is careful and controlled when tackling the demanding writing of Donizetti.”

Don Pasquale continues to play at the Royal Opera House until the 2nd November.

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