- October 11, 2021
Glyndebourne’s revival of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is a delicious confection, from the very lush red velvet start to the final dawn sky of the closing moments as the story is resolved. Visually this is a feast for the eyes and for the soul, every moment created using traditional stage-craft rather than technical wizardry. Julia Hansen’s sets and costumes capture the sense of time and place but also the sense of comedy too and the cunningly used revolve makes the transitions from scene to scene seamless.
And comedy is never far from Mariame Clément‘s direction, every character is charged with bringing the humour from every movement and from every note.
Fortunately that is in very safe hand with a first class cast of performers who grasp every opportunity to take that direction whilst still embracing every single note of the score.
Ricardo Seguel’s Don Pasquale is every inch the buffoon as he is duped by the devious Malatesta played here with power and precision by Konstantin Suchkov. Konu Kim gives his portrayal of Ernesto a real sense of the needy and spoilt post-adolescent brat and the purity of his voice emphasises that sense of youthful exuberance and entitlement.
But the highlight of the whole has to be Mariam Battistelli as Norina, soaring vocal magnificence for sure but all this matched by real stage presence and dramatic talent and that rare extra – comic timing. Battistelli had it all and despite the wickedness of her duplicitous role certainly won my heart, what was not to love about this and in fact the whole production.