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Don Pasquale

Don Pasquale Comic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Libretto adapted from the older Italian opera, “Ser Marc' Antonio,” by Camerano. First production, Paris, 1843.


Place, Rome.

Don Pasquale refuses his sanction to the marriage of his nephew Ernesto with Norina, a lovely widow. The old man himself desires to wed, and his physician, Dr. Malatesta, proposes his sister, Sofronia, as the bride. The Don accepts, and Norina disguises herself as the doctor’s sister, and the marriage contract is signed before a sup­posed notary. Norina now behaves like one possessed of the devil, and makes life so miserable for the old man that be is delighted when he discovers that he has been duped. He relinquishes his desire for marriage and consents to the union of his nephew with Norma.

ACT I. Introduction between Don Pasquale and the doctor. (Romance of Malatesta: “Oh, like an angel of beauty”; Cavatina, Pasquale: “Oh, how I feel the glow of fire in my heart”; Duet between Ernesto and Pasquale: “How? You will? Marry me.”) Change of scene: Norina’s cavatina: ,,Ah, beneath al eyes”; Duet between Norina and the doctor: “See, I am ready with love to surround him.”

ACT II. Ernesto alone; then Pasquale, Norina, doctor. (Terzett: “Take courage”; Finale: “On one side,” etc.)

ACT III. Chorus: “Bring the jewels at once”; Duet between Pasquale and Norina: “Dear wife, may I ask”; Duet between Pasquale and the doctor: “Softly in the dark.” Change of scene: Ernesto’s serenade: “As Luna laughs in the fragrant night”; Duct between Ernesto and Norina “Do I read in your looks ?“ Finale: “Heaven, what do you say? This is Norina.”

References and external links: Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.

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