BrumHour was invited to review Don Pasquale
at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) by Welsh National Opera.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Don Pasquale at Midlands Arts Centre
Music by Gaetano Donizetti, Directed by Daisy Evans
This summer WNO (Welsh National Opera) is touring Don Pasquale until 13th July and, last night, I was lucky enough to receive an invite to see this fantastic, modern and brash production at Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre (MAC).
Don Pasquale (Andrew Shore) owns a burger van in Cardiff and he doesn’t trust his nephew and employee Ernesto (Nico Darmanin) to take care of the business in the future. Local man Malatesta (Quirijn de Lang) decided to teach Don Pasquale a lesson about trust and enlists Ernesto’s girlfriend Norina (Harriet Eyley) to pose as a suitor for Don Pasquale.
If this sounds like a french farce rather than an opera you’d be correct. There is lots of humour to be found in this modern, fresh and fun version of this story which happens to be told in operatic music by Gaetano Donizetti.
With a seven-person “Band” ensemble on stage, we are given the chance to listen to and see the music and the personality of the “band” as they interact with our four characters, at one moment producing a copy of 50 Shades of Grey between the music.
Vocally very impressive, the four actors/opera singers each get their chance to shine as well as show their operatic range. Quirijn de Lang as Malatesta struts around like Richard O’Brien with a wig, in his heeled shoes, see through shirt and leather trousers. Harriet Eyley transforms from dark-haired hipster to blonde “dream woman” (Complete with butt pads!). Andrew Shore‘s Don Pasquale is realistic as his self-employed business owner trying to protect his legacy and Nico Darmanin bounds around the stage as wannabe music artist.
After seeing large scale Welsh National Opera productions previously, this was a great chance to see a much more intimate production, with a single set, which itself transforms from traditional burger van to a hipster juice bar. My plus one Reene, had a great time at this unexpectedly funny, warm touching comedy Opera.
WNO: Don Pasquale is touring until 13th July. Find out more about the tour here: wno.org.uk/whats-on/pasquale
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.