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Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) composed Don Pasquale in just two weeks, but it was nonetheless an instant success at its 1834 La Scala premiere. And while the plot is typical Italian bel canto opera buffa, it has an added touch of pathos that has ensured its enduring popularity.
This is what Hank McFadyden says on the HDVDARTS site about this production (one of three available oh Blu-Ray):
The best of this group is the Ravenna show. The Ravenna secret weapon is Laura Giordano as Norina. Giordano is astonishingly beautiful, really does look like a 19-year-old virgin, can act, and sounds just as good to me as any of the famous sopranos you can name.
Read the libretto in English here
Lire l’argument en français ici
What the Jury liked (sample quotes):
“It was a charming and pleasant production without pretension and with good singing. Norino was beautiful with a very good voice. Don Pasquale superb! And the Doctor also excellent in his role.”
« J’ai aimé le rythme très enlevé… la gaieté, les chants très vivants et les scènes très animés. Don Pasquale est très convaincant et Laura Giordano superbe....»
“Fun, exciting and imaginative. What more can I say?”
« Très agréable opéra bouffe, bien enlevé, joué avec beaucoup d’émotion. »
“The voices in this production, while very good, seemed young and not fully matured. Apart from the Don of course. That being said, it was an enjoyable evening overall.”
« Un spectacle très enlevé, gai,. J’ai particulièrement aimé Norina — jeune, belle et avec une voix excellente... »,
“Laura Giordano! Wonderful. Beautiful — great voice.”
« Une mise en scène très festive. »
“Laura Giordano was revelation! - and a wonderful singer, even when lying on her back! I adored the costumes and the set (apart from the people lurking offstage) I found this to be an exceptional and well balanced production. The orchestra also deserves a special mention.”
What the Jury liked less:
“Perhaps too many close-ups disturbing the general atmosphere.”
« Ernesto peut-être un peu effacé face à ses partenaires... »
“I found the people in the background to be a little distracting at times…As there are no ‘walls’ to the set those waiting to come on can be seen waiting for their cue”
Singing / performance: A
HDVD production: A-
Overall ranking: A-
As usual, in addition to the Jury ratings we also conducted a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"