We are delighted to introduce you to, or in some cases reacquaint you with, the cast of Don Pasquale created by the master of comedy Gaetano Donizetti. Having written two of the great comedies Don Pasquale and The Elixir of Love, his life was then marred by tragedy, the loss of his wife and all three of his children. However, let’s remember him in his prime, ‘gregarious and good-humoured’ and embrace his best loved comedy.
To help transport you to this wonderful land of escapism are a mixture of fresh talent and experienced virtuosity. We are honoured to have such a brilliant cast joining us in this production.
Taking on the title role of Don Pasquale is Andrew Shore, renowned for his versatile voice and comic mastery. He has taken on more than 17 different roles in his wide spanning career and performed in over nine different countries internationally. In 2014 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Music by Bristol University. Musing over his career in an article for The Guardian, his anecdotes from his time on stage include everything, from switching to Italian mid production to ending up naked on stage with just a lute to protect his modesty.
His impeccable comic timing; citing his biggest influences as the greats of British comedy, such as Morecambe and Wise, and his acting skills, which he says he developed early with his love for musicals in his school days, culminates in an unmissable aptitude for larger than life characters. One of his biggest gifts is being able to find a depth and complexity to his characters; we can’t wait to see what he will bring to the role of Don Pasquale.
Joining him on stage, playing the role of Norina, is Harriet Eyley a Welsh National Opera Associate Artist. She is an emerging, young artist who has been hailed by critics as having ‘the gift of not just being able to sing the arias, but to make us believe in them, her gamine charm coming over and winning our hearts,’ Planet Hugill. She has won the prestigious DipRAM award and labelled by Behind the Arras as, ‘Definitely one to watch.’
Returning to the WNO in the role of Ernesto is the Maltese tenor, Nico Darmanin who is quickly establishing himself as an authority on Bel Canto which is extremely fitting for Donizetti’s Commedia dell'arte opera. His previous roles include Danieli, in the Olivier award-winning production of Les vêpres siciliennes, Apparition of a Youth in Die Frau ohne Schatten which won Best Opera at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards and his debut performance at Glyndebourne both as Gastone and Alfredo in La traviata. He was a finalist at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition representing Malta as well performing Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall, and Beethoven 9th Symphony at the Barbican in London.
Back from his triumphant role as Fred Graham/Petruchio in WNO’s Kiss Me, Kate (2016) Quirijn de Lang will be Malatesta, bringing back his magnetic artistry, perfectly cast as the local swindler he will attempt to rob, not only Don Pasquale’s fortune, but the hearts of the audience. As an, ‘expressive and intensely dramatic performer’ Opera Now, he will keep us hooked to the very end.
Let’s forget about the trials of everyday life and enjoy ourselves for an hour or two; embrace the joyous fun that will be Don Pasquale.