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MWA Management

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MWA Management
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  • Repertoire (10)
  • Ready to debut (2)
Composer & WorkRoleProductions
I Capuleti e i MontecchiTebaldo1
I puritaniLord Arturo Talbo1
La sonnambulaElvino1
L'elisir d'amoreNemorino5



Paolo Fantin’s set presents us with the strip-lit framework of a house where we first encounter Terfel’s Pasquale getting ready for the day under the watchful eye of his elderly, chain-smoking maid, who resentfully flaps round him, helping him into his trousers and encasing his tummy in an alarming-looking corset. Olga Peretyatko’s Norina, who clearly has her eye on a glamorous lifestyle, works as a dresser in a fashion photographer’s studio, and later replaces Pasquale’s clutter with minimalist chic, presenting him with extravagant bills for the couture gowns she now gleefully wears. We don’t quite understand the reason for her attraction to Ioan Hotea’s Ernesto, played as a sulky brat, fond of his teddy bear, which flies in the face of the score, which presents him as a romantic dreamer. Markus Werba’s Malatesta, meanwhile, is a handsome if dangerous charmer, though his role as Pasquale’s doctor remains curiously ill-defined. Michieletto’s approach, however, is often overly fussy. An onstage camera crew films Norina’s fashion model posing, projecting the footage on to a screen at the back of the set, and later, under Malatesta’s direction, produces the evidence of Norina’s supposed infidelity which brings Pasquale’s mock marriage to an end. In act two, a puppet show accompanies the chorus’s gossip about Pasquale’s fortunes, leaving the discarded puppets for Terfel and Werba to play with during their patter duet. Within the context, however, Terfel makes a fine, sympathetic Pasquale, deeply touching in his expressions of affection for Norina and genuinely heartbroken, and indeed heartbreaking, when she turns on him in act two. He sounds wonderful, singing with handsomely focused tone and brings considerable panache to his duet with Werba, which is denied its traditional encore here. Peretyatko negotiates Norina’s coloratura with great brilliance and security, though Hotea’s Ernesto sounded effortful on occasion on opening night. Werba’s voice has lost some of its lustre since I last heard him, though his singing remains attractively stylish. In the pit, Evelino Pidò conducts with admirable precision and grace.
Tim Ashley
There are a number of strong peformances. Bryn Terfel is fantastic, a strong voice and brilliant comedic skills; his expressions and actions are worth a ticket themselves. Markus Werba as Doctor Malatesta has a strong voice and is a great actor, too, as is Hotea as Ernesto. Norina is performed here by Olga Peretyatko: she is a brilliant actress, the scenes where she and Malatesta are getting ready with her, trying to act pious, is a particular highlight of the production and innovatively done with green screen. However, whilst her voice is fantastic, this is the wrong role for her register. Her voice is more lyrical than bel canto. This production is too cruel, too much confusion to be as funny and entertaining as it can and should be. However, the performances and acting are fantastic and worth seeing, if simply for Bryn Terfel’s Pasquale.
Stuart Martin.



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