It’s a mark of truly universal storytelling when—as often happens with Shakespeare—the narrative works in a completely different setting. Perhaps that’s why Utah Opera has decided to take Gaetano Donizetti’s comic work Don Pasquale and place the Italian singing and supertitles in … the rip-roarin’ American Old West.
It certainly seems like the kind of place where you might find a rich aging bachelor like Don Pasquale, who’s looking for an heir to his fortune. His nephew Ernesto seems like a good prospect, except that Ernesto doesn’t seem keen on giving up his true love Norina for the arranged marriage preferred by Pasquale. Perhaps Pasquale himself can finally marry and produce an heir. Or perhaps Ernesto and Norina can bring Pasquale around to their way of thinking, whether by fair means or foul. That’s a rootin’-tootin’ tale, I reckon.
Utah Opera: Don Pasquale @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 801-355-2787, May 16–24, ArtTix.org