Opera Australia – Sydney Opera House July 18 to August 15th 2013
Performance 18th July 2013 reviewed by Bill Stephens
|Ji Min Park (Ernesto), Rachelle Durkin (Norina)|
Samuel Dundas (Dr Malesta), Conal Coad (Don Pasquale)
(Photo: Branco Gaica)
What a little gem is this new production of Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”. Director Roger Hodgman has set the action in sunny Italy in the 1950’s; with plenty of visual references by designer Richard Roberts to the 1953 film “Roman Holiday”. Though “Don Pasquale” has nothing to do with “Roman Holiday”, it works a treat.
Rachelle Durkin is thoroughly delightful as the conniving Norina, wickedly funny and hilariously infuriating as she effortlessly tosses off sparkling cadenzas in all directions. She is given terrific back-up by Ji-Min Park as her petulant lover, Ernesto and Samuel Dundas as the handsome notary Dr Malesta who assists them in their plan to trick Don Pasquale into a sham marriage.
It would be hard to imagine a better Don Pasquale than Conal Coad in excellent voice and despite being the butt of most of the jokes, never misses a laugh. Benjamin Rasheed rounds out the cast with a fine performance as the Notary.
(An edited version of this revue was broadcast in "Dress Circle" by Artsound FM 92.7 on 21.7.13)