– by Miriam and Dale Smith
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale was performed by the artists of Repertory Opera Company in Pomona, CA. The First Christian Church‘s sanctuary was transformed by singers doing double duty as stage hands, transporting operagoers to another time and place.
Arthur Freeman, as Don Pasquale, took on the role as though he were the Don himself. Costumed to perfection in period clothes, notwithstanding his comfortable shoes adorned with simulated buckles of ribbon, his nuanced acting easily carried the production to its grand finale. Kyle Patterson sang the role of Ernesto (Pasquale’s heir) with youthful enthusiasm and a clear tenor voice. Keiko Clark’s lovely soprano voice and well-developed characterization, as Norina, brought brightness to the overall performance.
Joseph von Buhler was well cast as Malatesta the physician, the charmingly cunning conniver who stage-managed all the shenanigans in the opera, with a resonant baritone voice that established his authority onstage. Coril Prochnow provided the running story in English as one of two narrators, a welcome and unexpected addition. Her partner, Geoff Curtiss, effusively entertained in the spirit of the main character, as he sang, danced and dubbed his lines.
Brian Farrell, Repertory Opera Company’s Musical Director, always the consummate pianist, played the score and directed the choruses from the bench. LizBeth Lucca, artistic director of the company, is the driving force behind the productions ROC brings to the greater community. Her creative spirit is evident in Don Pasquale.
Don Pasquale continues on two Saturdays, February 11 and 18, at 2pm. For information and tickets. go to the Repertory Opera Company website, or call (909) 230-4949.
To read another review on the company’s blog, click here.