Berkshire Opera Festival's DON PASQUALE Headlines Fourth Season
Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) will present Gaetano Donizetti's charming classic Don Pasquale for its fourth season, with performances August 24, 27, and 30 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The production is conducted by Artistic Director Brian Garman and directed by Director of Production Jonathon Loy, the co-founders of Berkshire Opera Festival. As with the first three seasons, recitals and outreach events complementing the mainstage production will be presented around the local Berkshire community, including a new collaboration with Hancock Shaker Village entitled Ain't it a Pretty Night: Excerpts from American Opera on August 8th and Savor the Sound: An Evening of Bel Canto, a free concert for the Berkshire community on August 14th.Donizetti's delightful comedy tells the story of a crusty old bachelor, Don Pasquale, who decides to marry a much younger wife and produce an heir to spite his nephew Ernesto, but then gets much more than he bargained for when Doctor Malatesta and Norina decide to teach him a lesson. The production follows BOF's acclaimed first three seasons, which featured Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and Verdi's Rigoletto. The cast is made up of some of America's great Bel Canto interpreters, with bass-baritone Craig Colclough starring in the title role. He is joined by soprano Deanna Breiwick as the beautiful young widow Norina and tenor Matthew Grills as her lover, Ernesto. Baritone Emmett O'Hanlon rounds out the cast as the scheming Doctor Malatesta.
"We're delighted to present this remarkable comedy this summer," states Co-Founder and Artistic Director Brian Garman. "For me, Don Pasquale is the very greatest of all the Bel Canto comedies and stands as Donizetti's masterpiece in the genre. It's no wonder it remains one of his most popular operas. The story moves briskly, the music clearly defines the characters' personalities and states of mind, and the characters themselves are more human than in any previous comedy. It's this sense of humanity that also makes the pathos in the third act especially touching."Jonathon Loy, Co-Founder and Director of Production, is excited to be working again with his acclaimed team of designers to create a "streamlined, period-costumed look at some of opera's funniest characters based on the commedia dell'arte. We are working to establish unique locales for each character onstage, each with its own comic touch, that defines the core of the characters as they inhabit that particular space. As usual, we will bring a visually enticing aspect to the beautiful voices you will hear and give you an opportunity to laugh, enjoy, and be touched by the power of opera." Don Pasquale will be sung in Italian with projected English translations. Tickets are priced from $20 to $99. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, please visit www.berkshireoperafestival.org/donpasquale.