‘Don Pasquale’ comes to life in CCP’s 39th concert season

Don Pasquale
PPO concert poster

The main building of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) remains closed due to its ongoing rehabilitation, but its opera programming continues with the presentation of the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” as part of its 39th concert season.

For its seventh concert, to be staged on March 8 at Samsung Performing Arts Theater starting at 7.30 p.m., the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will present a concert-style performance of “Don Pasquale” under the baton of PPO music director and principal conductor Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.

The three-act “Don Pasquale,” with libretto by Giovanni Ruffini, is one of the most popular comic operas, along with Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” and Donizetti’s other opera, “The Elixir of Love.” It premiered at Théâtre Italien in Paris on Jan. 3, 1843. 

It tells the story of a wealthy old bachelor, Don Pasquale, who decides to take a wife and produce an heir in order to disinherit his nephew Ernesto who has refused to enter an arranged marriage. Dottore Malatesta, a friend of the Don, promises to help Ernesto and his widowed sweetheart Norina.

Things take a humorous turn when the Don’s scheme is thwarted by a series of comical misunderstandings and mistaken identities. Will he change his mind and realize that marriage is not for him, and allow Ernesto and Norina to live happily ever after?

Illustrious cast

Opera soloists Dorota Sobieska (as Norina), Matheus França (as Don Pasquale), Byeong In Park (as Dottore Malatesta), Nomher Nival (as Ernesto), and Zadkiel John Yarcia (as Notary) will bring the entertaining plot and memorable characters to life. A talented soprano and stage director, Sobieska of Ohio in the United States has participated in many opera productions and solo performances with an orchestra and piano.

Bass França is a product of the University of Brasília, where he received his musical education and a bachelor’s degree in orchestral and choral conducting with excellence.

Baritone Park was a student of the acclaimed tenor Francisco Araiza at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been actively performing in opera productions and concerts in Europe and Asia and is currently based in the Philippines.

An alumnus of the internationally acclaimed high school choir Boscorale, baritone Yarcia is studying for a bachelor’s degree in music, majoring in voice, at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He received medals in the opera and Broadway categories when he competed in the 2018 World Championships of Performing Arts in California in the United States.

Tenor Nival is a first-prize winner in the vocal male category of the 2007 National Music Competition for Young Artists and of the 2015 Jovita Fuentes Vocal Competition. He has performed major roles in many CCP productions, and was also the recipient of the Mr. and Mrs. Tommy & Simonetta Steyer Encouragement Award at the prestigious Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition 2013 in Florida in the United States.

Tickets are priced at P3,000 (Orchestra Center), P2,000 (Orchestra Side), P2,500 (Loge Center), P1,500 (Loge Side), and P800 (Balcony 1). The PPO concert season is made possible with partners SSI Group Inc., TBWA\SMP, Ascott Bonifacio Global City, and Lyf Malate Manila. For more information, visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph or follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

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