Photo Flash: Metropolitan Opera's DON PASQUALE
Anna Netrebko reprises her celebrated portrayal of Norina, the irresistible and clever romantic heroine of Don Pasquale, in a revival of Donizetti's comic opera that begins performances today, Friday, October 29. James Levine, in his first-ever performances of this opera, will conduct a cast that also features Matthew Polenzani 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.
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.
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. Joseph Colaneri will conduct the November 18 performance, in which Met favorite Barry Banks will sing the role of Ernesto.
Live Broadcasts Around the World:
Don Pasquale will be experienced by millions of people around the world this season in movie 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 movie theaters in more than 40 countries around the world as part of the Met's rapidly expanding Live in HD series.
The October 29 opening performance will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79, as will the performances on November 2, November 10, November 18, and February 19.
The October 29 performance will also be available via internet streaming at the Met's web site www.metopera.org. The February 19 matinee will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera