‘Don Pasquale’ in HD

special to the daily

The Metropolitan Opera HD live broadcast of Donizetti’s comic opera, ‘Don Pasquale,’ is scheduled for the Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge auditorium at 11 a.m. Saturday. It is co-sponsored by the National Repertory Orchestra.

This will be the third in a series of 12 opera broadcasts, following two previous highly acclaimed productions. After minor adjustments, the projection is now of even higher resolution, and the acoustics are finely tuned. Those attending the initial broadcasts in particular were impressed with the acting and singing, during which the camera worked so effectively to capture the emotions of the performers, providing an intimate connection with the inner feelings and expressions of the artists.

The opera plot is a bit intertwined, in which the Don of Corneto (Pasquale), rich and eccentric in his 60s, has his eye on marrying the beautiful Norina, who also unknowingly happens to be betrothed to his younger nephew, Ernesto. All of this plays out to a joke being played on Pasquale, in which, in fact, the bogus marriage contract is carried out with an alias “Sorfino,” with the stipulation that half of his property will go to his new wife. However, soon after signing the wedding document, Sorfino (Norina in disguise) begins to behave shrewishly toward her new “husband.” Later that evening, Pasquale, faced with a stack of bills, is interrupted by Sorfino, who announces that she will be leaving for an evening at the theater. This precipitates a feisty argument. In fact, the next day, the two get divorced.

The opportunity is now open for the true, now rich Norina, to meet her lover, Ernesto. That evening, in the garden, the meeting between Norina and Ernesto is interrupted by Pasquale, who now, flabbergasted, recognizes that Sorfino in truth is Norina. Recognizing that he was the object of a joke, Pasquale amazingly extends his forgiveness, bestowing his blessing on the new couple, also, now agreeing to act his age.

Although the plot is a bit shallow and convoluted, the bel canto singing and charm of Donizetti’s music makes for a most enjoyable escape for those attending from the burdens of modern society.

Anna Netrebko has the starring role, opposite Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwoecien, and John del Carlo in the title role. No one will be disappointed by the artistry of the Met production, so effectively captured in this high-definition broadcast. All are invited to enjoy a most pleasurable afternoon.

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