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Premiere at Astana Opera: Modern take on an old story

11 March 2020 17:15

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM Gaetano Donizetti’s famous opera Don Pasquale will soon be presented at the country’s main theatre stage – the Astana Opera. The premiere is scheduled for April 8, 9 and 10 at the PICCOLO Chamber Theatre. The production team will set the story in the present time; the characters familiar to everyone will joke and play pranks, as expected in the comedy genre. Music Director and Conductor: Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Abzal Mukhitdin; Stage Director: Natalya Kagadiy, Astana Opera informs on its website.

The task of making this production spectacular in terms of design was entrusted to the Set and Costume Designer Manana Gunia, familiar to the capital’s audience from her work on La Scala di Seta, the premiere of which opened the PICCOLO Chamber Theatre with great success last year. Her colleague, the Artistic Director and Vocal Consultant of the production Ala Simonishvili, will be honing the artists’ singing skills.

What initially seems Simple is actually not so simple

The plot of the opera is rather simple. It was well known from numerous literary works, and, starting from the 16th century, it was also played out on the theatre stage, both in classical comedies and in opera buffa. Thus, the capital’s audience will meet with the main characters – an elderly bachelor Don Pasquale, his young nephew Ernesto, the cunning physician Dr Malatesta and the beautiful Norina. In fact, she is the driving force of the whole story. The rich and boring old man wants to marry her, because the young girl is exquisitely beautiful and incredibly smart, but poor. However, Norina is in love with another person. All misunderstandings and funny situations are born in this triangle.

«Despite the fact that the plot is rather simple, the production itself will be much deeper. Just like Donizetti’s music, where not everything lies on the surface, in our production, this story is a complex palette of characters and human relationships. However, for the audience, comedy will remain a comedy in any case: there will be many comedic situations, funny moments, but behind this first impression of a fun and entertaining performance there is a deep meaning that gradually unfolds to everyone as a complex drama. We will give the viewers an opportunity to think and analyze. This, in my opinion, is the most valuable thing in theatrical art,» Director Natalya Kagadiy said. «From a cerebral point of view, our production corresponds to a modern person’s mentality. There will be a lot of visuals in it, and we are using various ideas, keeping up to date. The human brain is in a constant stream of information, and a stream of action and reasons for the viewer to think, to begin to analyze what he or she saw on a subconscious level, will also be shown here,» the director concluded.

The audiences the world over love Don Pasquale, as Donizetti managed to convey a realistic duality of the situation and genuine human emotions even within the framework of the chosen genre. The farewell in the minor key «It is over, Don Pasquale, you have broken your head! You have nothing else left to do other than drowning yourself» is delivered by the old man after Norina hits him. She regrets what she did and realizes that she has gone too far. Nevertheless, even a happy ending cannot hide the fact that the further fate of Don Pasquale is loneliness.

Project Technical Director: Viсtor Carare, Accompanists: Yelena Sakhno, Zhanar Akhmetova, Meruert Zhekenova, Project Coordinator: Marzhan Zhakenova.

Keywords: Culture,