It has been a weird day - it was practically dark when I left the house at 11 am - and we then had a spectacular thunderstorm and heavy rain. And now, 6pm its a gorgeous evening. And I am home after an enjoyable few hours at the Ryan Center's Don Pasquale "workshop".
This is not an opera of which I am particularly fond, notwithstanding some of Donizetti's most winning music. Maybe I am unduly sensitive about the subject matter!! But seriously I have never felt much sympathy for any of the characters and their implausible situations. And I do not think the piece makes up for it by adding anything to one's understanding of the meaning of life!
But the five Ryan Center members participating made a brave shot at it. Emily Birsan is not a born Norina (for which she may very well be grateful) - but demonstrated some really interesting potential in the bel canto repertoire. She has developed into a most interesting artist in the short time she has been at the Ryan Center. I hear Bellini and the big Donizetti women (Lucia and the Queens) somewhere in the not too distant future. She has a really lovely quality and is a credit to Gianna Davis and the Ryan Center.
I always enjoy the work of Joseph Lim and David Govertsen who took on Pasquale and Malatesta, and Bernard Holcombe the cruelly taxing Ernesto. Will Liverman made an impression as the Notary! Very good indeed!
I am not sure how one defines a "workshop" - in any event Loren Meeker devised a clever production in the William Mason Rehearsal Hall. One can not ask for more.
But we got more, with outstanding playing from Alan Darling (Acts 1 and 2) and Craig Terry (Act 3). This makes such a difference - and must have been hugely appreciated by the conductor Eric Weimer. It is always nice to have the Vienna Phil at your disposal - Darling and Terry are the next best thing!
I was supposed to be leaving for Washington DC tomorrow morning at 6:25 am. The flight was cancelled so I will have a two hour relief. But it will still be an early start. I am so looking forward to my 12 days in Castleton.