The idea of setting the opera Don Pasquale in the 60s could be a bit cringeworthy. The choice of director Jean-Sébastien Ouellette turns out to be the right one. The daring proposal works wonderfully.
For his very first staging at the opera, the actor and director made it a playful object while respecting the work written by Donizetti in 1842.
Presented again tonight and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m., the fall production of the Opéra de Québec was launched in a Louis-Fréchette room at the Grand Théâtre with several empty seats. A phenomenon that has been present for a few years with a smaller audience.
It is in shades of blue and pastel green that the curtain rises. We discover a residence with a mixture of bricks and vinyl siding. A milkman makes his rounds. A Mustang convertible passes the house.
A decor that looks like a cartoon with the presence of a kind of magic, ingenious box, which becomes a hospital, a waiting room, a doctor's office, a lounge and a restaurant.
Don Pasquale is the story of a man who decides to disinherit his nephew Ernesto because he does not approve of the young woman he is seeing.
The old man wishes to meet a new, younger woman in order to bequeath his inheritance to a future child. A vast machination will take place, set up by Doctor Malatesta, in order to teach Don Pasquale a lesson.
A great discovery
The Don Pasquale of the 60s sticks an emancipated Norina and who can be associated with the feminism that emerged in the 60s.
Tenor Patrick Kabongo, in the role of Ernesto, and soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet, who plays Norina, are the great vocal stars of this production.
The Congolese has a very beautiful voice, melodious and with superb vocal nuances. A great discovery.
The French soprano is immense and she imposes herself as soon as she arrives, with a whole entrance, in the hospital waiting room. She excels on the playing side and she has a vocal power that has allowed her to pierce the sometimes too strong sound layers deployed by the musicians of the OSQ.
Transposing classics into modernity is an operation that doesn't always work. This version is a success, with a successful staging, beautiful packaging and very beautiful voices.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128