TINSELTOWN TURNS TECHNICOLOR IN THIS RIOTOUS BEL CANTO ROMP.
GAETANO DONIZETTI Composer
GIOVANNI RUFFINI Librettist
Opera buffa lovers are in for an uproarious treat in 2018, as visionary director Chuck Hudson joins forces with maestro Joe Illick for a sparkling, bubbly production of Donizetti’s bel canto romp, Don Pasquale. Audiences will be roaring with laughter, as Pasquale – an aging silent film star living out his days in Sunset Boulevard seclusion – looks to resurrect his career in a cinematic world gone Technicolor.
Don Pasquale, played with fine-tuned flair by Turkish bass-baritone Burak Bilgili, sets out to recapture his youth and find a bride and heir to his vast fortune. He gets more than he bargained for once he weds, or thinks he weds, the celebrated starlet Norina, embodied by Grammy Award-winning soprano Audrey Luna (Ariadne auf Naxos). Known for her “blazing coloratura” (Opera News) and vocal pyrotechnics, Luna returns to Fort Worth for the first Norina in her illustrious career, after making Metropolitan Opera history by singing the highest note ever recorded in the company’s 130-year history.
Silent movies, sight gags, and Hollywood glamour abound in Hudson’s clever ode to cinema and the art of mime. The scheming Dr. Malatesta, played with comedic brilliance by baritone Andrew Wilkowske, hatches a plot on behalf of Norina and Pasquale’s nephew Ernesto — acclaimed Korean tenor Ji-Min Park — to bring them together and turn the tables on the old Don. Under the baton of maestro Joe Illick, the renowned Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra brings to life Donizetti’s sparkling bel canto score, accompanied by a parade of pop cultural icons like Groucho Marx, Lucille Ball, Carmen Miranda, James Dean, Eartha Kitt, and Elvis Presley, played to perfection by FWOpera’s talented chorus members.
Don Pasquale Cast & Crew
Burak BilgiliDon Pasquale
Andrew WilkowskeDr. Malatesta