Arts & Entertainment

DON PASQUALE

Photo by Gaica Branco

Director Roger Hodgman’s production of Don Pasquale masterfully transforms Gaetano Donizetti’s nineteenth century Commedia dell’Arte into a 1950’s soap opera.

The libretto by Giovanni Ruffini weaves an intricate web of deception, extortion and love.

Sets and costumes are extravagant and vibrant, a clear representation of technicolour kitsch. This is complemented by subtle lighting and orchestra alterations to mirror the mood onstage.

Ji-Min Park is incredible as Ernesto, filling the hall with his powerful vocals and able to convey strong emotion through vocal control. Rachelle Durkin successfully portrays the strong female character of Norina while enjoying herself in the role.

However, the lack of onstage chemistry between Park and Durkin was palpable and failed to convince they were a young couple in love.

Conal Coad as Don Pasquale brought well-executed humour and stage presence to the proceedings.

This is a production that does not take itself seriously, which is refreshing and fun to experience. (LD)

Until Aug 15, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $44-306, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com

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