Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don Pasquale, Met, New York 6. Nov 2010

Saturday, 6. November 2010. Third performance of the run of Otto Schenk's revival of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the Metropolitan Opera House of New York, featuring John Del Carlo in the title role, Anna Netrebko as Norina, Matthew Polenzani as Ernesto and Mariusz Kwiecien as Dr. Malatesta. The conductor is James Levine.

Don Pasquale
Opera buffa in three acts
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Text by Giovanni Ruffini

Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. November 2010

John Del Carlo, Don Pasquale
Anna Netrebko, Norina
Matthew Polenzani, Enesto
Mariusz Kwiecien, Dr. Malatesta
Bernard Fitch, Notary

James Levine, Conductor
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House

Otto Schenk, Production
Rolf Langenfass, Set and Costume Designer
Duane Schuler, Lighting Designer

About the Opera
Opera Background
Cast and Characters
About the Composer
Story and Music
Synopsis

Reports
Howard and his wife Paula attended this performance of "Don Pasquale" at the Metropolitan Opera House. Howard kindly wrote the following review for the blog.
Don Pasquale, Met, New York 6. Nov 2010
By Howard 
The performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale at the Metropolitan Opera was truly a tour de force and exceeded all of our expecations. The cast was marvelous and uniform throughout.
     John Del Carlo, Don Pasquale (has also played in the Barber of Seville)
     Anna Netrebko, Norina (a reprise performance for her at the Met)
     Matthew Polenzani, Ernesto (a beautiful lyric tenor)
     Mariusz Kwiecien, Dr. Malatesta (a handsome match for Norina)
The opera begins with Dr. Malatesta singing a beautiful lyric melody which sets the stage for a comical farce based on love and playing jokes on an old codger. Both Mariusz Kwiecien and Matthew Polenzani were elegant and supportive, but the afternoon was dominated by Norina's antics. Her second scene putting on a pair of stockings on a the edge of the bed is the highlight of the opera showcased in a clip from the dress rehearsal at the MET. Her impish charm and seductive nature is amply paired with a lustrous voice which fills the opera house which hold nearly 4000 patrons. This scene was well choreographed and was a sheer delight to behold. She literally stopped the show with applause. As the curtain closed on the second scene of the first act, Norina did a small tumble onto the divan. As I recall, the earlier production for her in this role, she scaled back this effort, but took the audience by surprise.
As the opera continues in the 2nd act, Norina is on a roll, kicking Don Pasquale in the rear and smashing vases on the floor, destroying Don Pasquale's bed and simply carrying on with much fun as an overblown practical joke, calling Don Pasquale an old codger. The audience broke out in laughter on more than one occasion as the merriment evolved. Unlike most productions at the MET, there were numerous well behaved young children at this performance.
The third act reveals the nature of the joke and Don Pasquale blesses the love between Ernesto, the nephew, and Norina. There is a touching duet between John Del Carlo, Don Pasquale, and Mariusz Kwiecien, Dr. Malatesta, that was repeated at the end of the third act in front of the curtain.
Anna's voice and stature have grown, but she truly ruled the stage with charm, a great sense of humor and uncanny ability to act as an impish young girl. The role of Norina was certainly well suited for her and I was overjoyed to hear improvements in some of her trills, coloratura embellishments and thrilling high notes exemplified at the end of the 3rd act. Anna was clearly enjoying herself immensely, and sang with much confidence and panache. At one point late in the opera she even walked over to the prompter's box and sang from there. The curtain closed to thunderous applause for Anna and her colleagues. It is clear that James Levine is truly a genius, but he is now quite lame and came to the stage using a cane and holding on to other people to steady his balance. He is truly loved by the New York Audience and one could see "Jimmy" throwing a kiss to Anna as the cast took a collective final bow.
Having seen the earlier performance of Don Pasquale at the MET also, I could easily say that this one was filled wiith more humor and antics. Anna hammed it up to rapturous applause, but her real talents lie in an amalgam of acting, sensational looks and a rapturous voice. We loved it so much even havinf traveled from Boston to see it, that we are attending an encore HD performance. All of the nearby theaters were already sold out for the "Live" HD transmission. We will see Anna again at the Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on November 14th.
My only regret was having a dinner appointment in Manhattan with dear friends that precluded us from going to the stage door. I hope all of you will get to see this marvelous performance in the HD transmissions.

Photos
Don Pasquale poster at the Met. Photo: Howard

Anna Netrebko (Norina) at the final curtain calls. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko (Norina) at the final curtain calls. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Mariusz Kwiecien (Dr. Malatesta), Matthew Polenzani (Ernesto), Anna Netrebko (Norina) and John Del Carlo (Don Pasquale) at the final curtain calls. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko signing autographs at the stage door. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko signing autographs at the stage door. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko signing autographs at the stage door. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko at the stage door. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

Anna Netrebko at the stage door. Don Pasquale, Metropolitan Opera House, New York 6. Nov 2010. Photo: Verónica

14 comments:

  1. Thanks Verónica and Howard for the fantastic photos and review, respectively

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  2. Many thanks to Howard and Veronica - now I am even more looking forward to the HD transmission on Saturday.

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  3. I will be heading to the met next month just looking to see where you get some autographs by the stage door. Thanks...

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  4. Arriving to the Met by the main door facing the square, when you are at the main hall you have to go to your right and walk down some steps. It is there at your left.

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  5. Thanks very much, can you get the performers before or after the performance (what is better). So you enter in the front go in by the ticket office and go down the stairs and to the left, is there a sign, sorry for the questions, I want to make sure...

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  6. Is that where I see Anna signing in the photos at that location..

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  7. Yes, those pics have been takeb there. The pics are taken facing the way to go back to the hall of the Met which would be at the end to the left walking up some steps.

    I guess every artist has his/her own way to proceed, but in general they sign autographs and are available for some pics after the performance. If you are dying to see someone you can be around there also before, but maybe they are stressed or in a hurry to enter and it's not the best moment to ask them for autographs and so. Sometimes, unfortunately, they have a party or reception at the opera house, so it may happens that they don't come to the stage door or they come much later.

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  8. Thanks Carlos if you recall are the stairs to the right of the box office, I recall seeing stairs there some tiem ago picking up the tickets when you go down the stairs just go left then?

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  9. BTW 45498d2a-4821-11e0-8ade-000bcdcb2996 could be interpreted as a valid ID but a name would be appreciated too

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  10. Sorry first time posting, This is David from Michigan... I assume the stairs are by the ticket office....

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  11. Hey David, yes stairs at the right-hand-side of the ticket office

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  12. Thanks Carlos going to see Rossini's Le Comte Ory and will try to get some autos while there do need to worry about security waiting by the stage door? I will post if I get any autographs..

    Thanks again for all your help...

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  13. Thanks again Carlos, Im going to see Rossini's Le Comte Ory. Do they keep security by the stage door and I assume as I go down the stairs and to the left I can't miss it, hopefully I will do well and will let you know how I do. Thanks David.

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