"Ladies and gentlemen from all over the world, welcome to this brand new forum destined to all those opera lovers. It is my intention to create a cultural space to remember the great composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, as well as all the stars that walked through the most famous stages around the world like Caruso, Gigli, di Stefano, Pavarotti... I also intend this forum to be a debating space where readers can state their opinions, ideas, advises, likes and dislikes.

Through the last years opera has been losing popularity at the expense of more modern music, and though the heyday of the latter is a social and cultural worldwide phenomenon, it would be of great value to retrieve the transcendental meaning of opera in the history of man.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, may the world take its seat, let the curtain raise, come up to the stage with me and be the performers of this experience..."


Friday, November 23, 2007

Donizetti's Don Pasquale in Colombia

Don Pasquale - Gaetano Donizetti; Teatro Colón, Bogotá, Colombia; opening night: Oct 09, 2007.

Don Pasquale, Valeriano Lanchas
Dottor Malatesta, Homero Velho
Ernesto, Alejandro Escobar
Norina, Gabriella Pace
Notario, David Garzón
Conductor, Hilary Griffiths

Though small dimensions but splendid style, the Teatro Colón of Bogotá seems the ideal place for belcanto repertoire. It was the case of Donizetti's posthumous opera, Don Pasquale, chosen by the Opera de Colombia as the second title for its annual season.

Formed by young musicians, the del Valle's Philharmonic Orchestra rendered a mor-than-satisfying version of this opera with a great balance in style and excellent tuning. From the first measures it was noticeable a brillant work of the british conductor Hilary Griffiths who had a deep knowledge of Donizetti's work.

Valeriano Lanchas, colombian baritone with lovely timbre, perfect tuning and winner of two world competitions (Luciano Pavarotti and Operalia), gave an excellent performance in the opera's title role. Gabriella Pace was perfectly suited for the role of Norina. With flattering musicality and flexibility plus a talented acting, Pace performed an unforgettable and genuine creation. Homero Velho standed out from this group of great singers for his stage display and elegance. Though not assisted bt his voice timbre, he was the ambiguous and seducer Dottor Malatesta the audience always expects. In the role of Ernesto, Alejandro Escobar sang with taste and knowledge of the repertoire though he overused the falsetto and had some tuning problems in the first part of the opera. Nevertheless he reached an excellent level in the second part.

Regarding the setting, there was some lack of respect to the composer. The opera took place in New York during the 30s where the ArtDéco prevailed. Congruent with this, the scenery and clothes were elegant, functional and well suited for the chosen time and place.

Despite of the latter, the audience was very receptive and at the end gave a big appalause of approval.

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