Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 27, 2013

Nickel City Opera presents "Don Pasquale" this weekend at Riviera Theatre


Night & Day — Of “Don Pasquale”, Ruminski can easily itemize each soloists’ resume.

Benjamin Brecher, a tenor, plays Ernesto, Don Pasquale’s nephew. “He teaches in Santa Barbara, and teaches young artists at Chautauqua. Great facility, a great singer.”

The babe at the center of the conflict is Norina, played by soprano Zulimar Hernandez, a graduate, as is Ruminski, of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts.

Baritone James Wright, of SUNY Fredonia, is Malatesta, the guy who walks into the fight between uncle and nephew over Norina, and young Nick Kilkenny, the company’s 2013 Artist of the Year, is the notary. The opera includes a chorus of 18 and an orchestra of 16, “highly professional local players”, Ruminski says.

It is a beautiful thing when a local arts organization promises the moon and stars, and then delivers the moon and stars, and Western New York music (and theater) fans have come to expect excellence from the Nickel City Opera.

It should be pointed out the company’s performances, contrary to opera’s image, are not tuxedo and evening gown events. Audience members come as they are; there are couples on dates, aspiring singers, longtime opera fans, the artistically curious. Popcorn and drinks are available.

Those who enjoy opera should be aware the Northtowns is hosting a good one this weekend, in a theater perfect for it. First time opera goer? Start here.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: The Nickel City Opera performs "Don Pasquale", an opera by Gaetano Donizetti • WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday • WHERE: Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda • COST: $24-59 MORE INFORMATION: 692-2413

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