Mariame Clement’s keeps it traditional with a superb comic touch for Glyndebourne On Tour’s Don Pasquale - and what a delight it is.
I can’t remember when I have last seen so much fun with powder and wigs, crinolines and ruffles, and it is rather refreshing to move away from the trend of contemporary setting.
Julia Hansen’s clever set revolves to move the action from the Don’s drawing room through Ernesto’s bedroom to Norina’s bathroom (via an Act III diversion through the singing shrubbery).
GOT tenders the A team for this four-hander – a quartet of very competent performers who bring every nuance from Donizetti’s lilting score, blend beautifully and pass the baton slickly.
Jonathan Veira is tremendous as the eponymous buffoon bringing an irresistible combination of spot-on comic timing and that thrilling bass-baritone but more endearing than disgustingly lecherous which spoils our delight in him getting his comeuppance.
A particular highlight is his duet ‘Aspetta, aspetta, cara sposina’ with baritone Andrei Bondarenko who makes a memorable Glyndeboure debut as the cunning Dr Malatesta while fellow newcomer tenor Enea Scala is pouting dupe Ernesto whose ‘Com'è gentil’ is a joy.
Soprano Ainhoa Garmendia rejoices in the gift of the part of Norina by turns shrew-like in her demands and tantrums as Sofronia, yielding or flirtatious in the arms of her lover and manipulative in her cunning and Clement’s final twist.
With the chorus presented as a white-clad opera audience and Enrique Mazzola firmly holding the reins of the fine GOT orchestra, it all adds up to an amusing and entertaining evening – great fun.