Charles Castronova on stage in “Le roi d’Ys” (The King of Ys) at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, France, in 2007.
From Wild West to Wise Guy
Music Alumnus Returns to So Cal for Performances
March 9, 2012
Acclaimed tenor Charles Castronovo is performing March 10-18 in the San Diego Opera production of the comic opera “Don Pasquale,” billed as “a cheeky look at Don Pasquale in the Wild West.”
Castronovo portrays the handsome Ernesto, “a hero who enjoys a bubble bath surrounded by beautiful bar girls, a Mariachi band and an old fool who wants to marry a much younger woman.”
The former CSUF music major — who was in a rock band in high school, then joined the choir — was last on campus in 2010 to conduct a master class. During his student years, he performed in three campus productions: “Amal and the Night Visitors,” “The Crucible” and “Marriage of Figaro,” where he was scouted by Opera Pacific, then offered a place in the company’s apprentice program.
He’s due to return to Orange County March 30-April 1 to perform with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County in two separate programs in Irvine.
The April 1 “Night in Napoli” — part of the Philharmonic Society’s “Wise Guys Mini Series” at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, is being billed as the CSUF alumnus’ Orange County debut. Two nights before, he is featured in “An Evening With Charles Castronovo,” to perform traditional Neapolitan songs, accompanied by a guitar duo. The March 30 evening at the Shady Canyon Golf Club includes a reception and dinner.
Two years ago, Castronovo embarked on project to research and perform traditional Neapolitan songs — many written in old dialects and rarely performed classically. A New York native of Southern Italian descent, Castronovo will perform some of his favorite songs that remind him of his heritage.
Castronovo performs on international stages, as well as on both coasts here in the U.S. His recent appearances include:
- developing the role of Mario Ruoppolo in the world premiere of “Il Postino” at Los Angeles Opera;
- Belmonte in “The Abduction from the Seraglio” at Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma;
- Gennaro in “Lucrezia Borgia,” Don Ottavio in “Don Giovanni” and Belmonte for Bayerische Staatsoper;
- Don Ottavio at San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera;
- Nemorino in “The Elixir of Love” for Opéra de Nice;
- Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet ” for the Dallas Opera;
- Tamino in “The Magic Flute” for Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera and Vienna Staatsoper;
- Alfredo in “La Traviata” for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden;
- Elvino in “La Sonnambula” at Michigan Opera Theatre;
- title role of Faust and Rodolfo in “La Bohème” for Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin;
- Ferrando in “Così fan tutte” for Royal Opera, Covent Garden;
- the Duke in “Rigoletto” in Bordeaux; and
- Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” for Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels and Royal Opera, Covent Garden.