It's fantasy Perhaps the wind blew. What a mouthful of pill, nephew, I prepare you! Vo call me Don Somaro if to see I do not show it to you. The bride?
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The cast was handpicked from the most famous singers of the day, and Donizetti had worked with them before. He knew their vocal and dramatic abilities, and he clearly trusted them with challenging material, for, though Don Pasquale is a buoyant delight for the audience, it is formidable work for the performers. The premiere was a smashing success, and before the year was out Don Pasquale would be heard in the great opera houses of Europe.
It was the last triumph that the composer would remember. Of the five years of life that remained to him, he spent most of the time in asylums. Only two other operas followed, bringing his career total to more than Both operas are filled with bright and colourful vocal writing and skillful depiction of plot and character. The characters derive from types that were common in the many comic operas of the period: a clever leading lady, her winsome admirer, an old buffoon who hopes to outwit them, and a conniving fellow who takes the side of the young lovers.
Donizetti was a master at pleasing his audiences, then and now. Don Pasquale is set in Rome in the midth century. The elderly Don Pasquale is waiting impatiently for Dr. Malatesta, whose help he has enlisted in finding a wife so that he can produce direct heirs and disinherit his rebellious nephew, Ernesto. Ernesto enters and Pasquale confronts him, reminding the young man that he had been advised to marry a certain wealthy lady; Ernesto knew that if he refused, he would be disinherited. Ernesto acknowledges this but refuses to comply, for he is in love with Norina, whom Pasquale considers unworthy.
Pasquale, reporting that he has plans to marry, orders Ernesto to find another place to live. To avoid keeping Norina in poverty and misery, Ernesto decides to give her up. In a last-ditch effort he asks Pasquale to consult their mutual friend Malatesta.
Ernesto is devastated. A letter from Ernesto arrives just as Malatesta comes in, chortling over his plot against Don Pasquale. But Norina is not amused, for Ernesto has written a sorrowful farewell to her. The new wife will drive Pasquale so crazy that he will be desperate to get rid of her. Norina agrees on the condition that she will not lose Ernesto in the process. Malatesta assures her that Ernesto will benefit from the plan as well. He instructs her to play the part of a simple, shy country girl.
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See Article History. Britannica Quiz. The madrigal is a type of chamber music written for what instrument? Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Don Pasquale, an elderly bachelor bass. Norina, a young widow, engaged to Ernesto soprano. Load Next Page.
It was based on a libretto by Angelo Anelli for Stefano Pavesi 's opera Ser Marcantonio written in  but, on the published libretto, the author appears as "M. Donizetti so dominated the preparation of the libretto that Ruffini refused to allow his name to be put on the score. This resulted in confusion over the identity of the librettist for more than half a century,  but as Herbert Weinstock establishes, it was largely Ruffini's work and, in withholding his name from it as librettist, "Donizetti or [his assistant] Accursi may have thought that, lacking Ruffini's name, the authorship might as well be assigned to Accursi's initials as to a pseudonym". This is confirmed by a letter from Ruffini to his mother of around 5 October in which the librettist tells her of Accursi's suggestion that the composer would use a story which was written in and that he would need "a working stonemason of verses to remake the old libretto, to cut, change, add, plaster, and I don't know what. It's not a question of doing it well or doing it badly, but of doing it fast. In the tradition of opera buffa, the opera makes reference to the stock characters of the commedia dell'arte.