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Opera revamp is aaarlrite mate.

Byline: Don Pasquale, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury By Leon Burakowski REVIEW

Opera often has a stuffy high-brow reputation, but Daisy Evans' gleefully comic updating of Don Pasquale is truly an opera for the people, including those who don't necessarily like opera.

In this Welsh National Opera production she has moved Donizetti's opera buffa from 19th century Rome to 21st century Cardiff and peppered the libretto with lots of "aaarlrite mate" and "what's occuring".

An on-stage mini-orchestra also take on the roles of chorus and various extras as the action is centred on Pasquale's kebab van, brilliantly created by designer Loren Elstein complete with rotating doner meat (which at one point is retrieved from a bin and given a wipe down with a mop). Pasquale is a Greco-Walian misogynist with a low opinion of his wannabe pop star nephew Ernesto, who is more bothered about perfecting his moonwalk than running the kebab van.

So the portly Pasquale flexes his mus-cles (including Welsh dragon and Greek flag-tattooed bicep) to woo a wife.

Enter his louche pal Malatesta, a snakehipped Russell Brand type, who hatches a plot with Ernesto's eco-warrior girlfriend Norina to trick Pasquale into welcoming back Ernesto from exile in Swansea.

The core cast of four perform Donizetti's vocal gymnastics with a twinkle in their eyes.

Andrew Shore as Pasquale, Nico Darmanin (Ernesto), Harriet Eyley (Norina) and Quirijn De Lang (Malatesta) all displayed excellent comic timing.

And they got those South Wales colloquialisms spot on, like.

CAPTION(S):

Andrew Shaw plays Pasquale, a Greco-Walian kebab van entrepreneur looking for love in the Welsh National Opera's Don Pasquale

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Publication:Shropshire Star (Shropshire, England)
Article Type:Opera review
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 18, 2019
Words:265
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