Don Pasquale - Opera Holland Park, 9 June 2011
The last time I saw this opera was at the Met, where the starry pairing of Anna Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecień dominated a traditionally-styled production. Faced with a somewhat less glamorous cast at Holland Park, Stephen Barlow cleverly makes a virtue of their homeliness by relocating the story in a faded English seaside resort. Don Pasquale (Donald Maxwell) runs the clapped out Casa del Fish'n'Chips. Norina (Majella Cullagh, unflatteringly costumed) is a buxom lady of a certain age, in the circumstances a delightfully credible pursuer.