THEATRE REVIEW - Don Pasquale, Mansfield Palace Theatre

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IF you like your opera fresh, frothy and funny -- with a light sprinkling of snow -- then Mansfield Palace Theatre was the place to be on Sunday.

That’s when the enterprising Swansea City Opera made a return visit to town with Donizetti’s comic masterpiece ‘Don Pasquale.’

And for those who braved the snow, it was an evening of excellent entertainment in the best “bel canto” tradition from a quality quartet that delivered on every note in this beautifully staged production in 1840s costumes.

This was more than evident in this, the most popular of Donizetti’s 66 operas, in a story of love, deception and marrying at your peril, something that elderly bachelor Don Pasquale (Paul Hudson) found out after being tricked into marrying a younger woman to disinherit his nephew, Ernesto (Ben Kerslake).

But the brains behind this cunning plan was family friend Malesta (Aris Nadirian) who was more interested in advancing the cause of his sister, Norina (Helen Massey) getting hitched to Ernesto . . . something that Don Pasquale finally agreed to as well signing up to the sentiments “that old men marry at their peril.”

For those marking their diaries, there’s more opera in store later in the year when Mid Wales Opera stop off at the Palace on 13th October with the comedy confection ‘Albert Herring,’ part of the group’s contribution to the 100th birthday celebrations of composer Benjamin Britten.

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