Dom Sebastien, Roi De Portugal, Royal Opera House, London

Donizetti2.jpgby Roderic Dunnett [The Independent, 13 September 2005]
A Christian nation invades an Islamic desert state. The campaign gets bogged down. Their leader comes in for a bit of flak back home. Sound familiar? Donizetti penned his last opera, Dom SÈbastien, roi de Portugal, for the Paris stage in 1843. It’s rarely produced, and it’s difficult to see why. Scribe, who concocted umpteen libretti, was at the height of his powers, and this one is neither slow nor stodgy.