Productions are in chronological order.
To read reviews, click on items in the left-hand column.
John Pascoe John Pascoe
review quotes 2003–14
2013/14 Manon Lescaut (Minnesota Opera)
Lucrezia Borgia (DVD)
2012/13 Manon Lescaut (Washington National Opera)
Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera)
2011/12 Lucrezia Borgia (San Francisco Opera)
The Medium (Spoleto Festival, USA)
2010/11 Don Giovanni (Florida Grand Opera)
Don Giovanni (Dallas Opera)
2009 /10 Carmen (Palm Beach Opera)
Flora (Spoleto Festival USA)
2008 /09 Lucrezia Borgia (Washington National Opera)
Fidelio (Palm Beach Opera)
2007/08 Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera)
Ariodante (Spoleto Festival, Italy)
2006/07 Ercole su’l Termodonte (Spoleto Festival, Italy)
Cyrano (Michigan Opera Theater)
2006/05 Madama Butterfly (L’Opéra de Quebec)
Democracy: An American Comedy (world premiere) (Washington National Opera)
2005/06 Turandot (L’Opéra de Quebec)
2004/05 Manon Lescaut (Washington National Opera)
2003/04 Don Pasquale (Palm Beach Opera)
Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera)
Minnesota Star Tribune
22 September 2013
Minnesota Opera’s Manon rocks!

The last act of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (1893) – his first hit, which launched Minnesota Opera’s new season Saturday at the Ordway – has gotten a lot of bad press. ‘The biggest dramatic blunder of all,’ declared one critic. ‘A single mood, a single colour, no spectacle … no contrast,’ complained another. Minnesota Opera’s thoughtfully traditionalist staging of John Pascoe’s production for Washington National Opera, should quiet the naysayers. It rehabilitates the ending, situating it in a bleak dreamscape – a wilderness of the mind, strewn with broken relics of the lovers’ past.This works.

While I could speak at length to the talent of the musicians, it was the work of the artistic staff that took my breath away. The set, lighting, and costumes were gorgeous. Within the story, the multiple settings were often starkly contrasting, whether it were the beautiful home of Geronte or the barren desert of Louisiana. The set design maintained a common theme while beautifully expressing each location.

A lovely touch was the subtle use of mirrors in Geronte’s home as a representation of Manon’s vanity. The use of projection was also a notable feature. Text was projected on to, essentially, a giant piece of parchment, allowing for the story to continue between set changes.

Visually, this production was beautiful and engaging, serving as a continuation of the story being told on stage.

Don’t miss Manon Lescaut!