mon 14/10/2019

Don Pasquale, Opera Holland Park | reviews, news & interviews

Don Pasquale, Opera Holland Park

Don Pasquale, Opera Holland Park

Sunny tunes and witty staging make for the perfect summer opera

Don Pasquale (Donald Maxwell) and Malatesta (Richard Burkhard): A genuinely comic double actFritz Curzon

Nothing says summer opera quite like the skittish melodies and Neapolitan oom-pah-pah of a Donizetti overture. It doesn’t get much cheekier or more playful than this, the kind of music that makes you long for a pea shooter to pelt opera-goers with a stealthy fire of peanuts, or daub the bald head of the concert-goer in front of you during his Act II siesta. When set against the greenery and obbligato peacocks of Holland Park, a work like Don Pasquale makes sense in a way it scarcely can in the corseted confines of a traditional opera house. Add a witty staging by Stephen Barlow, and Richard Bonynge – the godfather of bel canto – in the pit, and summer sunshine is guaranteed, whatever the weather.

Bonynge offers a characteristically poised account of Donizetti’s score, relishing particularly the touches of mock grandeur and minor key gravitas

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.