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Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer © ROH 2015. Photo by Clive Barda

Donizetti Don Pasquale

From 14 October TO 02 November 2019
Covent Garden - London
Program

Donizetti : Don Pasquale

Cast
  • Conductor
    Evelino Pidò
  • Director
    Damiano Michieletto
  • Performers
    Don Pasquale: Bryn Terfel (Basse)
    Norina: Olga Peretyatko
    Ernesto: Ioan Hotea (Tenor)
    Dottore Malatesta: Markus Werba (Baryton )
Details on the Performance

Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel heads the cast for this new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations.

The witty story of a middle-aged man whose supposed young wife runs rings around him – with her own ulterior romantic purpose in mind – has long delighted and surprised audiences, not least as presented with the sparkle of its music and the virtuoso skill of its performers.

Damiano Michieletto’s exhilarating production shows how contemporary the characters still are and how immediate and touching the story remains.

Source © Covent Garden - ROH

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Covent Garden - London Location Bow Street, Covent Garden - WC2E 9DD London Royaume-Uni

  • Venue's Capacity: 2256

The Venue's History in few words …

Covent Garden's lyrical tradition goes back to the eighteenth century. It is here, for example, in a theatre constructed in 1732 by John Rich, the successful producer of THE BEGGAR'S OPERA, that the London public discovered several of Handel's operas.

Covent Garden then also staged plays and pantomime, a tradition which continued well into the thirties. The theatre has since hosted the most diverse productions, including cinema, cabaret, ice shows, and the circus. Today only opera and dance (The Royal Ballet) share the season.

 

As is the case with many an opera house. Covent Garden's life history was interrupted by fire, which twice destroyed the building. The second Royal Opera was inaugurated in 1809. Weber composed OBERON for the theatre, and conducted its premiere in 1826; the next year, Beethoven's F ID EU o was staged. From 1847, Covent Garden most often scheduled the Italian repertoire, with works by Rossini and Verdi. After the fire that demolished the second theatre in 1856, and until 1914, the third opera house built on the Covent Garden site became known as the theatre that hired the world's leading artists (like Nellie Melba, Caruso, and Adelina Patti, who refused all rehearsals by contract), and paid them royally. Several legendary conductors furthered the Royal Opera House's reputation after the First World War, such as Bruno Walter, and, of course, Thomas Beecham, who introduced the opera of Richard Strauss.

 

During the Second World War, Covent Garden became a "Palais de Dance" (sic). At the end of the war, following an intense period of negogiations. the ambitious decision was made to found a permanent opera company. Karl Rankl was appointed the first Music Director of the Covent Garden Opera Company (it became The Royal Opera in 1968) which gave its first performance in 1947.

 

Rankl's successors - Rafael Kubelik, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, and Bernard Haitink - have managed to maintain the company spirit and even the most celebrated guest artists are obliged to attend rehearsals.

Covent Garden

Synopsis

Don Pasquale

DON PASCUALE, A COMIC OPERA

Don Pasquale is a comic opera by Gaetano Donizetti and takes place in three acts.
The opera was first performed, by Theatre-Italien, on 3 January 1843 in Paris at the Salle Ventadour. Donizetti's music and lyrical humour brings the comic opera to life. Pasquale is an old man who runs his crumbling pension with the help of a greasy cook, a chambermaid and an ancient porter.

HISTORY

The story of Donizetti's Don Pasquale is based in early 19th century in Rome, and it is a perfect setting to showcase the quirks of the clashing generations.

Pasquale, the reclusive old man, who likes cats, is a worried man as he fears that his wealth will be taken over by Ernesto, his scheming nephew. To avert this he wants to find a wife for himself and appears truly smitten when a young lady turns up in his life.

Act 1

Pasquale wants to marry in order to produce a lawful heir and keep his scheming nephew, Ernest, away from his inheritance. Dr. Malatesta calls on Pasquale and suggests his younger sister as a befitting bride for the old man.
Pasquale is immensely delighted at the prospect of marrying and urges the doctor to immediately arrange for a meeting.

Ernesto loves Norina, a young widow and refuses to marry the woman chosen by his uncle, and as a result he has to forgo the house. Norina is on her terrace, reading a romance and appears amused at the feminine wiles of the story. She suddenly feels depressed by Ernesto's farewell note when Malatesta appears with his proposal of her impersonating as his sister and marry off Pasquale.

Act 2

Ernesto is unaware of Malatesta's schemes and sits in his uncle's living room, grieving at the imminent loss of his beloved Norina. He leaves when his uncle arrives, who is getting ready to meet his bride-to-be. Pasquale feels youthful on meeting "Sofronia" and is willing to marry her immediately.

At the wedding ceremony, Ernesto enters and expresses his beloved's infidelity. But before he can foil the strategy, Malatesta informs him of the plan he has entered with Norina. So Ernesto becomes a willing witness of the contract. The Notary has sealed the contract wherein the fortune is bequeathed to the new bride, Norina. The trio celebrate their success while Pasquale is stunned to see his demure bride turn into a rebellious woman.

Act 3

Pasquale is seated in his refurbished living room with a pile of bills incurred by his wife. Norina enters the room followed by servants carrying her purchases only to leave again for the theatre. She drops a letter which speaks of a meeting in a garden at night, with some suitor. Pasquale seeks the help of Dr. Malatesta who assures him that they will trap the couple red-handed. In the garden, while Ernesto and "Sofronia" engage in a song of love, Pasquale and Malatesta arrive but they cannot see her lover as he escapes quickly. Later when Ernesto proposes to marry his beloved, "Sofronia" claims to leave if another woman lives in the same house. Pasquale is glad to permit Ernesto to marry his love. Pasquale is stunned to find the true identity of his bride. He however realises that marriage cannot work right for an old man and agrees to the young couple's marriage.

THE MAIN ROLES

Don Pasquale, an elderly bachelor, bass
Dr Malatesta, physician, baritone
Ernesto, Pasquale's nephew,tenor
Norina, Emesto's beloved, soprano
Carlino,Dr Malatesta's cousin, bass
Servants

Covent Garden

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