As the opera opens, a thin figure stretches out his arm in an agony of impatience. The pose is held through long orchestral measures. The tension vibrates.
Characterization is often difficult for singers. Young performers are careful with the voice, happily profilgate with its glorious sounds and unwilling to experiment with deviations from the bel canto ideal.
This company had no such inhibitions. Fully capable of performing the flowing Donizetti lines, the voices were equally comfortable being raucous, imperious or anguished. This takes both courage and intelligence, qualities that this cast has in full measure.
Michael Costantino was excellent in the leading role. His Pasquale was a knot of desire and frustration, collapsing on the floor in humiliation, comically raging at the mounting pile of extravagances.
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