Donizetti's Don Pasquale

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In the week of Valentine's Day, it's only fitting that we hear a performance of Don Pasquale -- that Donizetti classic bristling with conniving old men, mock wedding ceremonies and stacks of debt.

If that doesn't say love to you, the blow is softened by the good humor of this opera buffa, featuring the performance of star soprano Anna Netrebko under the baton of music director James Levine. Don Pasquale had its world premiere in 1843 at the Comédie-Italienne in Paris.

Updates: Rachelle Durkin will sing the role of Norina in this Saturday’s matinee performance of Don Pasquale, replacing Anna Netrebko, who is ill. Conductor Joseph Colaneri replaces James Levine, who is also ill.

Cast and credits:

Conductor: James Levine

Norina: Anna Netrebko

Ernesto: Matthew Polenzani

Malatesta: Mariusz Kwiecien

Don Pasquale: John Del Carlo

Production: Otto Schenk

Comments [9]


I love Margaret and Ira! Great fun, very interesting, lots of insight. And Rachelle Durkin seems to be doing an incredible performance, at least that's what I hear from my living room.

Feb. 19 2011 03:41 PM

Except for Kwiecien the rest of this sorry cast is second rate. He's the only one up to Netrebko's artistry.

Polenzani is a singing machine, not an artist, neither is the soubrette Durkin or Del Carlo.

Levine canceling makes no difference, he's not a bel canto conductor, he despises it, his recent cancellations of Pasquale and Lucia are proof of it. In bel canto, the singer shines, never the conductor, that's why Levine's not interested. Go listen to Riccardo Mutti conducting this with Freni and Nucci, Muti cares about the score and supporting the singing, not himself. That's how one conducts bel canto.

Feb. 19 2011 03:40 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Thank you Larry. Now Ira I do not dislike you and hope you are not offended. As for today's opera, really enjoying this.

Feb. 19 2011 03:01 PM
larry eisenberg from nyc

I love Donizetti's bel canto,
In Italian or in Esperanto,
Don Pasquale played right
Is a total delight,
The pleasure from this group is tanto.

As for Ms Juntwait & Ira Siff,
I much prefer Juntwait, what if
Siff departed the scene,
I'd still be serene,
I wish t'would occur in a jiff!

Feb. 19 2011 02:02 PM
Steven Scott from Punta Gorda, Florida

As a conniving old man myself, I am enjoying the brodacast. Thanks

Feb. 19 2011 02:00 PM

So folks, how do you think Miss Durkin is doing as Norina this afternoon? Does she have a particularly tough assignment replacing Miss Netrebko? And how does the Met Orchestra sound under Maestro Colaneri's baton?

Feb. 19 2011 01:48 PM

Sorry to disagree, Ms Nardone...I think Ira brings a lot to the discussions and he and Ms Juntwait are a great pair. Keep up the good work, both of you. But you are right about this production, it is a delight in every way. Best of luck to Ms Durkin today

Feb. 19 2011 01:23 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Does Ms.Juntwait really need Ira as a co-host. She does a fine job without him. Ira please be quiet.

Feb. 19 2011 01:05 PM
Concetta Nardone from Elmont, NY

Too bad Ms. Netrebko is ill today. I watched the telecast recently and she did a fine job vocally as well as acting. Very nice job by everyone connected with the opera. No one dies and love triumphs.

Feb. 19 2011 12:55 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.