By Alyssa Loy, Special Features Contributor
Just in time for the La Dolce DC celebration, Gaetano Donizetti’s last opera, Don Pasquale, will play at The Kennedy Center as the final fully-staged opera of the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) 2010-2011 season.
Renowned American bass-baritone James Morris will be making his WNO debut – and steering away from his usual Wagnerian style to try his hand at comedy – as the title character, Don Pasquale. Pasquale’s nephew, Ernesto, will inherit his uncle’s fortune, but only if he gives up his one true love, Norina. The scheming but well-meaning Dr. Malatesta attempts to help Ernesto in a hilarious storyline that includes a fake marriage, disguise, pervasive overspending, and even a slap in the face.
Norina will be played by Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina, who is also making her WNO debut. Dwayne Croft, the renowned American baritone best known for his countless performances at the Metropolitan Opera, will take on the delightful role of Dr. Malatesta. The WNO’s General Director, Plácido Domingo, will conduct this magnificent production from New York City Opera featuring a libretto by G. Ruffini.
The comedic story and the enchanting score make Don Pasquale one of Donizetti’s most memorable operas and a can’t-miss evening.
The three act comic opera will be performed in Italian with English supertitles and lasts two hours and 35 minutes. The show runs from May 13-May 27 at The Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Tickets run from $55-$300 and are quickly selling out.
The production will also feature some corresponding events. There will be Pre-Performance lectures in the Opera House on both May 26 and May 27 at 6:15 p.m. There is no additional admission fee; guests simply must present a ticket or stub from any performance of Don Pasquale. There will also be an Artist Q&A following the evening performance on May 16 and the matinee performance on May 22.
Furthermore, when you purchase a ticket to Don Pasquale, you will automatically be entered into the Roman Holiday Sweepstakes sponsored by WNO and the Phillips Collection. The winner of this sweepstakes gets round-trip airfare for two to Rome, accommodations for five nights at Rome’s Hotel Anglo Americano, two tickets to Rome’s contemporary art museum MACRO, and a tour of Rome’s American Academy followed by lunch with members of the Academy. The sweepstakes closes on May 28, 2011 at 5 p.m.