Opera buffa ‘Don Pasquale’ premieres in Astana Opera
The inimitable Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale premiered at the Astana Opera Theater in the Kazakh capital last weekend. The opera buffa, characterized by inexhaustible wit and soft lyricism, is among the twenty most popular Italian operas and is performed annually in more than 150 theaters in the world. There are various rumours about how fast the Don Pasquale opera was written. Different sources refer to periods from 11 days to two or three weeks. The performance was conducted by Abzal Mukhitdin. He shared the difficulties they faced while preparing for the premiere.
“There were a lot of difficulties during preparations of the opera. Let’s begin with the fact that we started the work in February, in the middle of winter, and then the quarantine hit in March. Manana Gunia and Alla Simonishvili arrived in Nur-Sultan before quarantine and had to stay here for a long time. They worked online via Skype or Zoom. It was difficult to work this way. It was a tough period, because such thing as a ‘physical presence’ is necessary. When the quarantine was relaxed, as I remember, it was in April, we finally had our first rehearsal in this building with the piano accompanist. So we worked like this for almost a week, but then the quarantine was reimposed. To be honest, I believe that not only artists and musicians have missed the theater, but the audience too,” said Abzal Mukhitdin, Conductor at the Astana Opera.
The Astana Opera team portrayed the image of the famous opera’s main character quite differently. The spectators witnessed on stage not not the old man Don Pasquale, but a wealthy and impressive middle-aged man. Both the spectators sitting in the audience hall and those who had previously seen the performance on the theater’s website enjoyed the opera a lot.