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Don Pasquale takes over PPO’s concert

For its seventh concert, the PPO will have a concert-style performance of the Italian opera under the baton of PPO music director and principal conductor Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.

Filling the gap in the opera programming in the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra present Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale as part of its 39th concert season on March 8, 7:30 pm, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater.

For its seventh concert, the PPO will have a concert-style performance of the Italian opera under the baton of PPO music director and principal conductor Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.

With the Italian libretto by Giovanni Ruffini, Don Pasquale is one of the most popular opera buffas, along with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Donizetti’s other opera The Elixir of Love. It is known for its bright and colorful vocal, and truthful depiction of characters and genuine emotions.

First premiered at the Théâtre Italien in Paris on January 3, 1843, the three-act opera follows the story of a wealthy old bachelor named Don Pasquale who decides to take a wife and produce an heir to disinherit his nephew Ernesto for refusing 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 his scheming plans are thwarted by a series of comical misunderstandings and mistaken identities. Will Don Pasquale change his mind and realize that marriage is not for him, and allow the couple to happily live ever after?

Find out as opera soloists Dorota Sobieska (as Norina), Matheus França (as Don Pasquale), Byeong In Park (as Dr. Malatesta), Nomher Nival (as Ernesto), and Zadkiel John Yarcia (as Notary) bring to life its entertaining plot and memorable characters.

A talented soprano and stage director, Sobieska has participated in many opera productions and solo performances with an orchestra and piano. One of Ohio’s finest sopranos, her exceptional wide-ranging coloratura technique exemplifies glorious tones and passages with wonderful quality.

Brazilian bass with experienced remarkable growth in the solo landscape, França, is a product of the University of Brasília where he received his musical education. He also possesses a bachelor’s degree in Orchestral and Choral Conducting with excellence.

Alongside Dorota Sobieska and Matheus França, baritone Park will also take center stage. A student under acclaimed tenor Francisco Araiza at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany, Byeong In Park has been actively performing in opera productions and concerts around Europe and Asia. Currently based in the Philippines, Park continues to involve himself in most opera productions and concerts with several orchestras such as the PPO, the Manila Symphony Orchestra, the ABS-CBN Orchestra, and the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra.

Another soloist with a deep, rich voice and an alumnus of the internationally acclaimed high school choir, Boscorale, baritone Yarcia is currently a student taking up a bachelor’s degree in music, majoring in voice, at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. The young baritone soloist received medals in the Opera and Broadway categories when he competed in the 2018 World Championships of Performing Arts in California, U.S.A.

Completing the cast is Nival, a first-prize winner in the vocal male category of the 2007 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the 2015 Jovita Fuentes Vocal Competition Male Category. A well-established tenor who has performed major roles in many CCP productions, he 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 Vero Beach, Florida.

Tickets to PPO Concert VII: Don Pasquale are priced at Php3,000 (Orchestra Center), Php2,000 (Orchestra Side), Php2,500 (Loge Center), Php1,500 (Loge Side), and Php800 (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 the CCP (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph) and follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, X, and Instagram for the latest updates.

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