BWW Reviews: Opera in the Heights' DON PASQUALE is Jovial Merriment

Related: Opera, Houston, Opera in the Heights, Don Pasquale, Gaetano Donizetti, Keturah Stickann, Enrique Carreón-Robledo, Stefano de Peppo, Octavio Moreno, Eric Bowden, Katie Dixon

Stefano de Peppo (Don Pasquale), Octavio Moreno
(Dr Malatesta), Katie Dixon (Norina).

Merriment and joviality are the key ingredients for Opera in the Height's production of Gaetano Donizetti's comedic opera DON PASQUALE. When DON PASQUALE first opened in 1843 it was instantly recognized as Gaetano Donizetti's masterpiece, and for many it still holds that distinction. In the classic opera, with a ruse and a disguise, Don Pasquale learns not to marry in old age and consents for his nephew to marry the woman of his choosing.

Keeping the show contemporary to his audiences, Gaetano Donizetti set the original production in the early 19th Century. However, Opera in the Heights has set their production about 100 years in the past, having the action of their production occur in the early 20th century. Other than this minor change, Opera in the Heights keeps their production in line with the original, delivering all the laughs that audiences expect from the amusing tale.

Keturah Stickann makes her Opera in the Heights debut stage directing this production of DON PASQUALE. Together, with Enrique Carreón-Robledo as Artistic Director and Conductor, this team has assembled a talented cast and produced an opera that easily beguiles audiences in the intimate setting of Lambert Hall. Furthermore, Keturah Stickann fills the small stage with lively energy that never lets the opera lag. Likewise, Enrique Carreón-Robledo conducts the orchestra with such tangible vigor that they too play with such exuberance that the audience can't help but get lost in the performance.

Playing the titular character of Don Pasquale, Stefano de Peppo's delightful bass instrument carries well throughout Lambert Hall. His performance is spirited, engaging the audience with the charisma of his charming voice and his fascinating facial expressions.

Octavio Moreno charms the audience with his sly Dr. Malatesta, bringing forth many laugh inducing moments of true humor in the performance. His baritone voice is robust and soars on both the longer, more legato moments of the opera's score and on the conversationally staccato elements as well.

More On: Octavio Moreno, Gaetano Donizetti,

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David Clarke David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.

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