Magazine article Opera Canada

Hamilton

Magazine article Opera Canada

Hamilton

Article excerpt

Buffalo buffa might soon be a cult opera genre, if Opera Ontario's Don Pasquale, set in the Wild West, becomes the rage. The production was a jolly romp that had the punters guffawing loudly as Ernesto lamented the loss of his love, Norina, in a deliciously rendered "Sogno soave e casto." Why the gaiety at such a poignant moment? It was not the fault of tenor Stuart Howe, whose brightly focussed young voice can keep an exquisite Donizetti musical line endlessly suspended in air like a soft summer breeze. The hilarity came from the contrast between Ernesto's delicate despair and the fact his derriere was plonked in a hip bath with his cowboy boots and spurs sticking out from either side of a tower of bubbles. Despite such a focus, the production trod lightly on Donizetti's music. The increasingly wonderful Laura Whalen made a scrumptious Norina, vocally entrancing and totally at home on stage. Gregory Dahl was a vigorous and compelling Dr. …

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