Donizetti’s easy-to-take Don Pasquale is the next scheduled Met Opera Live in HD on November 13th at 1:00 pm. Running time will be about 3 hours, 15 minutes. Anna Netrebko will reprise her celebrated portrayal of Norina, the irresistible and clever romantic heroine in this revival of Donizetti’s comic opera.
This delightful operatic outing is so popular that the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center had another sellout and has added an encore performance on Sunday, November 21 at 1:00 PM. The same holds true for Verdi’s Don Carlo which will have its encore showing on Sunday, December 19 at 12:30 PM. Part of the Mahaiwe’s great success with The Met series is its groundbreaking role as the originator of Berkshire showings, the other its high quality screenings and sound system that please the fussy ears and eyes of opera-goers. The Mahaiwe is also the only venue with reserved seats.
This is the opera that will make Berkshire opera fans fall in love with the gorgeous Anna Netrebko. She is not ony stunning to look at, but divine listening, too. In Don Pasquale, this magnificent performer revives her sensational turn as Norina—the disguised bride who becomes a greedy old man’s undoing. Donizetti’s delicious bel canto comedy has a well cast company including as the lovelorn Ernesto, Mariusz Kwiecien as the duplicitous Dr. Malatesta, and John Del Carlo as the title character. Renowned Austrian director Otto Schenk will return to the Met to direct the first revival of his production, which The New York Times praised as “wonderful” and “insightful” when it premiered in 2006. And of Netrebko the Times wrote: “She has the stage presence, the charisma, that the old-fashioned divas used to command, and she adds to it both charm and sensuality.” Music director James Levine conducts the Met orchestra.
When Netrebko made her Met role debut as Norina in 2006, the critics said she “negotiated Donizetti’s fearsome fioritura with flair and acted with rare abandon” (New York Post) in what was “simply one of the great comic performances to be seen on the legit stage” (Variety). “This will go down as the season Metropolitan Opera audiences fell in love with Anna Netrebko,” wrote Mike Silverman of the Associated Press; opera fans across the country and around the world will have the same opportunity to fall in love with her Norina on November 13, when the opera is transmitted around the globe as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
In addition, Tenor Matthew Polenzani, who will play Alfredo in the Met’s new production of La Traviata later this season, makes his Met role debut as Ernesto. Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien first played Dr. Malatesta at the Met in 2006 opposite Netrebko; The New York Times found him “mesmerizing in the role, his robust voice matched by his robust physique.” Bass-baritone John Del Carlo, whose many past performances at the Met include an acclaimed Dr. Bartolo in the Met: Live in HD broadcast of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, sings the title role.
Don Pasquale features sets and costumes by Rolf Langenfass, whose many designs for the Met include the Schenk-directed Ring cycle, and lighting design by Duane Schuler, who recently designed the Met’s critically praised new production of Boris Godunov.
OPERA TALKS: One of the reasons the Mahaiwe remains the premiere spot to view the Met’s HD telecasts is Scott Eyerly. The opera expert gives marvelous pre-tlecast preview talks just before they air. The next is Saturday November 13 at 11AM ($10). Mixing erudition and humor, Eyerly’s lectures enhance the opera-goer’s experience. All interested community members are welcome to attend these educational seminars whether attending the broadcast or not. Eyerly is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, where his Evening Division courses “Understanding Classical Music” and “Desert Island Opera” are in great demand.
Don Pasquale will be experienced by millions of people around the world this season in theaters, on the radio and on the internet, through distribution platforms the Met has established with various media partners.
The November 13 matinee will be transmitted to more than 1,500 venues in more than 40 countries around the world as part of the Met’s rapidly expanding Live in HD series. In the Berkshires it includes the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, which appears to be sold out, and the Beacon Cinemas in Pittsfield as well as the Clark Museum in Williamstown. For ticket information and pricing use our links to the Clark Art Museum, Beacon Cinema and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
Also look over our earlier season preview and discussion on pricing.