Article Title:Opera: Don Pasquale, a whimiscal operatic Gem
Category:Performance
Author or Credit:John Curry
Published on:3rd August 2006 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:1372
Text:Chubby chasers - and opera chasers - keep your eyes peeled! The rotund and adorable Don Pasquale is headed your way. Over the next month you can spot him in Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Wanaka, Greymouth, Hastings, Wanganui and New Plymouth! You can't miss him, because he's played by the hugely entertaining - and gorgeously costumed - Conal Code. You won't have much trouble either, catching the whimsical piece of cross dressing provided by the Don's only servant, a woman with a rather formidable jaw! This comic opera is an absolute gem, partly because it's in English, so for once we can get the jokes as they happen. And we get to watch John Verryt's luscious design instead of spending our time reading the surtitles. If you're interested in computer graphics, you'll be fascinated to see how Mr Verryt has used them in what is thought to be a first in New Zealand. Visually, it's like an Edwardian scrapbook come to life onstage, especially in the enchanting final scene in 'the bushes', where the Don and Dr Malatesta (the smooth-as-KY-jelly Andrew Conley) hope to catch the young lovers 'in flagrante'. Some might find the story a bit ludicrous (and chicken hawks might find it depressing), but anyone with a sense of humour will love it, as the 70 year old Don discovers he should have stuck to his beloved stamp collector's album and not gone off trying to marry a young woman. True love wins out for his nephew, Ernesto (the handsome Ashley Catling) and the scheming minx Norina (played spot on by Lorina Gore). Ladies, and beauty lovers, will be ravished by Norina's first appearence in her Edwardian undies and corset, swinging onstage while reading a Mills and Boon romance. If only real life were like this! We were fortunate enough to catch the show on opening night in Kerikeri's swish new venue, The Centre. Good acoustics, comfy seating and an intimate feel to the place, combined with a sense of occasion, made it quite a evening. And we stumbled across The Black Olive, where some of the 'creatives' were dining, and the two women running it (one of them looking rather like kd lang) couldn't have been more welcoming and provided some rather good food. So, if you're in Kerikeri, it's a good eating place to go. NBR New Zealand Opera's 'Don Pasquale' National tour until early September 2006 John Curry - 3rd August 2006    
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