The Merola Opera Program is an 11-week summer program of performance and study under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera. The program culminates in two fully staged and costumed productions, in this case, Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.
The two performances of the former production were held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a rather staid venue. As charming as Donizetti's music is, the cast was mediocre, no one particularly stood out as truly gifted, though it must be said, the acting was solid. The production itself was a bit dull, soprano Rhoslyn Jones first appeared as Norina in a bubble bath, o-la-la, indeed. Her voice is nothing special, not so comfortable in the high range. Baritone Alexander Tall (Malatesta) and tenor Jeremy Little (Ernesto) both lacked vocal power and vitality.