Musical direction – Zbigniew Graca
Direction – Wacław Jankowski
Scenography and costumes – Joanna Jaśko-Sroka
Choreography and stage movement – Jadwiga Leśniak-Jankowska
Don Pasquale – Marek Picz
Dottor Malatesta – Michał Kutnik
Ernesto -Maciej Gallas
Norina – Mariola Płazak-Ścibich
Notaro – Jerzy Sypek
Servi e camerieri – Martyna Malcharek, Ewa Urbanek, Piotr Malaga
Orkiestra of Krakow Chamber Opera:
violin I – Dominika Olszewska
violin II – Marek Dumicz
viola – Aleksandra Okarmus
cello – Marta Marek-Michalska
double bass – Lesław Wydrzyński
flute – Ewa Tupik
oboe – Izabela Berdy
clarinet – Andrzej Ruciński
bassoon – Jan Michalski
horn – Marcin Gajewski
trumpet – Tomisław Susic
timpani – Grzegorz Fieber
LOVE AND INTRIGUE. ‘Don Pasquale’ on the Stary Sącz stage.
Krakow Chamber Opera has presented ‘Don Pasquale’ by Gaetano Donizetti during the 34. Stary Sącz Festival of Chamber Music. The intrigue of the play is rather simple: there is a young, loving couple of modest wealth (Ernesti and Norina) and the eponymous bachelor uncle who finally decides to pursue marriage.
Dottor Malatesta comes in to employ a cunning plan in order to aid the young lovers. He presents his alleged sister Sofronia to the bachelor. As soon as the marital arrangment is finalized she starts to turn Don Pasquale’s life into a misery. The groom gets fed up with his wife’s constant quarrels and extravagance. Finally he agrees to give Sofronia away to his nephew, even though he has been opposed to this marriage earlier on. And so, all’s well that ends well.
This opera buffa by the Italian composer is truly a musical and theatrical feast, especially when presented by Krakow Chamber Opera. This has been their second time on the stage in Nowy Sącz, the first being last year with the staging of ‘Livietta e Tracollo’ by Pergolesi.
Although the stage in ‘Sokół’ Centre of Culture and Art is rather small, the troupe manager to put on a dynamic, beautiful show. By far the most memorable performances has been given by Marek Picz (Don Pasquale) and Michał Kutnik (Dottor Malatesta). At the same time, the other performers have displayed unique acting grace and charisma on stage – the way house servants have moved around was especially charming. The masterful acting culminates in a scene of a four-voice quarrel including Don Pasquale, Dottor Malatesta, Ernesto and Norina – those in attendance surely noticed how exceptional it has been.
sądeczanin.info, 6th July 2012
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A THEATRICAL JEWEL AT NIEPOŁOMICE ROYAL CASTLE
The artists of Krakow Chamber Opera were met with standing ovation, which has been the highest praise for the Sunday staging of ‘Don Pasquale’. Krakow Chamber Opera troupe has come back to the Niepołomice royal castle after the summer vacation with one of Donizetti’s greatest works. The ‘Castle meetings with opera’ cycle has begun again.
Music, song and dance are strongly co-dependent in this spectacle. That is, after all, a trademark of Krakow Chamber Opera. You can see it in the way that choreography and stage movement orchestrated by Jadwiga Leśniak-Jankowska smoothly blends with directing of Wacław Jankowski, the creator of this exceptional musical theatre.
Since its Paris premiere in 1843, ‘Don Pasquale’ has quickly conquered the world stages. It was due to its solo parts and group arrrangments, but also subtle orchestration and excellent unity of music and libretto. Its staging by the Chamber Opera troupe is a splendid show of musical and theatrical elegance, sparkling with frivolity and light-hearted humour. The audience were applauding not only the arias and sung parts, but also the acting representation of the characters. Marek Picz’s performance as Don Pasquale was especially praiseworthy, although Mariola Płazak-Ścibich (Norina), Michał Kutnik (Dottor Malatesta) and Maciej Gallas (Ernesto, enamoured in Norina) were warmly welcomed as well. The graceful ballet of three servants (Martyna Malcharek, Oksana Pryjmak and Łukasz Raś) was also given due credit by the audience. The three performers took part in the events on stage with ease and humour – they were a pleasant addition and provided some visual commentary. The director thanked personally the other performers: Marceli Kolaska for the musical direction and Joanna Jaśko-Sroka for the stage design and costumes.
Dziennik Polski, 25th October 2006
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BALLET AND OPERA
It has been a long time since a visit to an opera has brought me such joy. It does not mean that everything during both evening stagings was impeccable, but the positives certainly outweighted the negatives.
The spectacles were prepared diligently both performances have been really graceful. The three dancing servants (Martyna Malcharek, Oksana Pryjmak and Krzysztof Wieszczek – all of them students of National Academy of Theatre Arts), who were both acting and adorning the stage, were splendid. The 12-person orchestra directed by Tomasz Chmiel played well – this has actually been a set of soloists, because every intrument was singular.
The directors have made sure that the stage would be a place both for masterful operatic singers as well as testing ground for the younger, less experienced artists. A real musical and stage artistry has been shown on Monday by Piotr Nowacki (the eponymous role) and Andrzej Biegun (Malatesta). Their way of handling the lyrics should be held as an example to our opera singers.
Dziennik Polski, 5th May 2004
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The role of Don Pasquale has been played with gusto and fervour by Marek Picz. His interpretation of the eponymous character has embedded it with certain youthful qualities. Picz did exceptionally well not only as an actor but also as a singer – it has been a long time since I heard someone sing so beautifully and incisively in opera buffa. His grimaces, quirkiness and imitation of elderly movements brought smiles on viewers’ faces.
The spectacle is overall consistent and leaves a very pleasant impression.
It does not pretend to be a grand opera staging – it is an independent form of show. Why shouldn’t we have more spectacles like this one? After all, one never gets tired of opera.
Scena.Cz, 9th June 2004