Don Pasquale

Gaetano Donizetti

  • World premiere
  • Teatrul Italian din Paris, 3 ianuarie 1843
  • Romanian Opera Craiova Premiere
  • 18 mai 2006
  • Time Length
  • aprox. 3h – două pauze
  • Extra info
  • Spectacol în limba italiană cu supratitrare în limba română

Opera buffa in three acts composed by Gaetano Donizetti.

Libretto by Michele Accursi and Giacomo Ruffini.


The action takes place in Rome, in the 18th century, in the house of Don Pasquale – a rich, but lonely old man, determined to marry a young and beautiful woman…


Old, rich, but lonely, Don Pasquale is determined to marry a young and beautiful woman. Dr Malatesta, a family friend, speaks to him of his sister, Sofronia, fresh out of a convent. Don Pasquale seems thrilled. With the opportunity of this marriage, he has decided to kick Ernesto, his nephew, out of the house. He is disinheriting Ernesto because of his love for a beautiful actress, named Norina. Amused and unconfident, at the beginning, Ernesto will realize that all his dreams of happiness will be mercilessly shattered. In the meanwhile, the beautiful Norina does not even suspect what is happening. The goodbye letter she receives from Ernesto makes her wonder, but Malatesta’s arrival will help her understand everything. In order to help his friends, Ernesto and Norina, the sly doctor has designed a smart plan: he will introduce Norina to Don Pasquale as his sister, he will stage a marriage, then the young girl will have to exasperate the foolish old man, who, in the end, will be happy to find out the truth and, especially, will have to approve of the marriage of his “wife” and his nephew, Ernesto. Norina is delighted with the plan and begins the “attack” with her fellow actors, dressed as servants.


Scared by the threat of a doomed fate, Ernesto thinks his love is lost. Don Pasquale is easily won by the shy behaviour and the beauty of young “Sofronia”, actually the beautiful Norina. In the marriage contract that is made straight away, the old man bequeaths half of his estate to his wife. Informed by Malatesta of what is happening, Ernesto agrees to be a witness to the fake marriage. He will enjoy a special attention from his “aunt”, who chooses him as the gallant for her walks, much to Don Pasquale’s dismay.


Desperate and impotent, Don Pasquale tries to calm down his wife, but all is in vain. She wastes the money on luxurious outfits, refusing to obey him, as she should. Trying to prevent Norina from going to the theatre, Don Pasquale is slapped. However, the content of a note his wife loses shows Don Pasquale that she is going to meet her lover in the garden, at night. Along with Malatesta, Don Pasquale decides to surprise his wife in a flagrant situation and, thus, get the divorce. Ernesto sings a serenade; afterwards, in the silence of the night, the two lovers meet and exchange vows of faith. Don Pasquale comes out of the hiding. Norina is alone. “Casually”, Ernesto is nearby. Exasperated, Don Pasquale accepts that his nephew should marry the beautiful Norina, in exchange for the divorce of his dreadful wife. It is time for the joke to end. Norina reveals her true identity. Don Pasquale happily finds out that in fact his marriage is not valid. Satisfied, Malatesta takes part in the joy of the young people.


*Grigore Constantinescu & Daniela Caraman-Fotea, Ghid de operă, Bucharest, 1971

**Ana Buga & Cristina Maria Sârbu, 4 secole de teatru muzical, Bucharest, 1999

***Ioana Ștefănescu, O istorie a muzicii universale, Vol. IV, Bucharest, 2002