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Italian opera comes to Delhi

Madhur Tankha
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Are you Ready for a comic treat?:Kamani Auditorium in the Capital will host “Don Pasquale: An Old Man turns Groom”, a three-act show, this coming week.
Are you Ready for a comic treat?:Kamani Auditorium in the Capital will host “Don Pasquale: An Old Man turns Groom”, a three-act show, this coming week.

Born four centuries ago, the Italian opera is a unique combination of orchestra and drama. Though its popularity has crossed the boundaries of the Mediterranean country, it is yet to firmly establish its roots in India. To popularise Italian opera, the Neemrana Music Foundation is organising an event at Kamani Auditorium here on December 11, 12 and 13 .

An interesting mix of Italians and Indians, the opera will be directed by Paolo Panizza.

According to Paolo Panizza, for the first time Italian members of his opera will be performing in the country. “Our opera is quite different from the operas in other European countries. It is an amalgamation of classical and modern styles. Though a majority of Indians cannot understand our mother tongue, yet they would be able to appreciate the artistes or characters through their songs. There would be sub-titles and music can articulate many things in a beautiful and philosophical way.”

After holding rehearsals with the Indian choir, Paolo is convinced that the opera will create a great deal of interest among music lovers in the Capital. “It must always be remembered that European classical music is important the world over. In Asian countries including Japan, China, and Korea our opera has firmly established its roots.”

For Vikrant Subramanian it will not be a challenging task to play the character of Malatesta (Baritone) because he is fluent in Italian and can sing flawlessly in it. Also he has been polishing his skills in France for the past two years.

“This opera will be an interesting one. Don Pasquale, a senior citizen, is adamant on disinheriting his nephew Ernesto. So he starts looking for a bride. So my character Malatesta hatches a plan to scuttle this old fool’s ambitious yet highly unrealistic idea. We want to make him realise his mistake. So we arrange a wedding between Pasquale and Norina, who is actually Ernesto’s beloved. This leads to comic encounters as Don Pasquale is frustrated because he cannot fulfil his ambition,” says Vikrant, who specialises in singing in Italian, German and French.

Indo-French artiste Aude Priya, who plays Norina (Soprano), says her character will try to seduce Paolo so that he becomes infatuated with her and then ditch him.

The story of “Don Pasquale: An Old Man turns Groom” has been segregated into three acts. The first act focuses on the old man who is getting impatient as he wants to enjoy conjugal bliss with a girl half his age. It will be a comic act. It will be a dramatic moment in the in the second act, and in the third, Don becomes the butt of a joke.

The performance has been produced by Francis Wacziarg and directed by Paolo Panizza.

Antonio Giovanni Bono will conduct the Orchestra Filarmonica Citta di Agrigento.

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