Craig Colclough: Dawn of a New Don
After a hilarious turn as the lovestruck Doristo in last season’s Diana’s Garden, renowned bass-baritone Craig Colclough returns to the Minnesota Opera stage to sing the title role in our first ever production of Donizetti’s delightfully zany comedy of errors, Don Pasquale. He was also kind enough to answer a few of our burning questions:
Hi Craig! First question: When did you first fall in love with opera?
Listening to the Amadeus soundtrack in junior high school. The Don Giovanni finale was so terrifying and perfect all at the same time. In high school, my friends and I had a Mustang convertible in which we’d cruise around town. I’d make them blast the Commendatore dragging Giovanni to hell with the top down. They never quite understood, but were kind enough to humor me.
What are some of the joys and challenges of performing Don Pasquale?
Anytime you get to play an eccentric is a gift. The rehearsals are just as fun as the performances. The challenge is not getting jealous of the music the other characters get to sing.
Describe Don Pasquale in three words…
Delusions. Of. Grandeur.
Are there any themes or underlying elements in the story that you think will resonate with today’s audience?
I think everyone can relate to a parent attempting to strong-arm the behavior of their child. And in order to resolve this tension Donizetti pits the curmudgeonly pantaloon against one of the strongest, emancipated females in all of opera literature. Family dynamics, financial stress, and female empowerment, all steeped in shenanigans and trickery will resonate vividly with our modern audience.
What is the strangest or most surprising thing that has ever happened to you during a performance?
Once, as I was the only person facing upstage, I witnessed a meter-long steel pipe fall from the flies, narrowly missing the choristers staring diligently downstage. It was terrifying.
What are some of your favorite things to do while you’re in the Twin Cities?
We have family friends in the Twin Cities and, as I travel with my wife and two small children, our favorite pastimes are playdates with their amazing children.
What’s the best advice you would give to singers just starting their careers?
The craft must be reward enough. If you are trying to receive applause, money, or fame, your spirit will shrivel and die.
Don Pasquale will kick off Minnesota Opera’s stellar 55th anniversary season on Saturday, October 7 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, October 15th. Get your tickets today!