Sébastien Mathé / OnP

Opera

Don Pasquale

Gaetano Donizetti

Palais Garnier

from 14 September to 13 October 2023

2h35 with 1 interval

As a result of a national and interprofessional strike followed by some of the Opera's staff, the performance of Don Pasquale scheduled on Friday 13th October 2023 at 7:30 pm will be performed in a concert version (soloist singers and chorus with stage costumes, unique set).

Don Pasquale

Palais Garnier - from 14 September to 13 October 2023

Synopsis

Listen to the synopsis

0:00 / 0:00

Don Pasquale, an old fogey, believes he is playing a clever trick on his nephew Ernesto by telling him that he is going to marry a young girl – and thus will deprive him of any inheritance. But the charming Norina and Dr. Malatesta will beat him at his own game. Disguises, false marriages and trickery follow one another in Gaetano Donizetti’s opera inspired by the characters of the commedia dell’arte. With this whirlwind score, successfully premiered in Paris in 1843, the author of Lucia di Lammermoor shows a genuine talent for comedy and refreshes “opera buffa”. While director Damiano Michieletto delights in playing with eras, he preserves the work’s levity and brings out its bittersweet tenderness. Such is one of the trademarks of Donizetti, ever full of empathy for his characters, even when they are old fogeys...

Duration : 2h35 with 1 interval

Language : Italian

Surtitle : French / English

  • Opening

  • First part 80 min

  • Intermission 30 min

  • Second part 45 min

  • End

Show acts and characters

CHARACTERS

Don Pasquale: A rich old bachelor who decides to marry at the last minute in order to deprive his nephew of his inheritance.
Ernesto: Don Pasquale’s nephew who is in love with Norina.
Norina: A penniless young woman who, under the pseudonym of Sofronia, pretends to be Don Pasquale’s wife.
Doctor Malatesta: A friend of the family and an ally of Ernesto and Norina, he is the mastermind of the plan to fool Don Pasquale.

Act 1:
In their apartments, Don Pasquale receives his friend, Doctor Malatesta, with a view to depriving his nephew and legitimate heir, Ernesto, of his inheritance. The latter has had the bad taste to fall in love with Norina, a penniless young widow, even though Don Pasquale has presented the young man with a more worthy match. The old miser has decided that he himself should be the one to get married. Malatesta informs him that he has the ideal fiancée: his own sister, Sofronia, whom he describes as a timid, naïve convent-raised girl. An impatient Don Pasquale implores the doctor to introduce him to her right away. When Ernesto arrives, the old fogey again tries to convince his nephew to marry the woman he has chosen for him. However, faced with Ernesto’s obstinacy, Don Pasquale disinherits him for good and informs him of his imminent marriage to Malatesta’s sister. Ernesto is all the more astounded since he has been led to believe he has the doctor’s complete support. Unable to guarantee her future, Ernesto decides to leave Norina. Norina receives Ernesto’s letter announcing the breakup and his departure. Doctor Malatesta rushes to reassure the young woman. He explains that his sole strategy is to fool Don Pasquale: He intends to have him married before a fake notary to a seemingly sweet and amiable woman who, as soon as the vows are uttered, will turn into a veritable harpy. In so doing, he hopes to drive the poor man over the edge and persuade him to allow his nephew to marry whoever he chooses. A delighted Norina accepts to play the role of Malatesta’s sister.

Act 2:
Left alone, Ernesto wallows in despair: disavowed by his uncle and betrayed by his friend, he has been obliged to renounce the woman he loves. For his part, Don Pasquale prepares for the arrival of his future bride. She enters, under a veil, on Malatesta’s arm. The old man is instantly won over by her shy naivety and smitten by her charms when she finally removes the veil for him. He demands that they be married right away. Malatesta immediately summons his cousin, who, disguised as a notary, draws up the contract. Ernesto arrives to bid farewell to his uncle and discovers his beloved arm‑in-arm with Don Pasquale. In an aside, Malatesta explains to the young man he must play along for his own good. As soon as the marriage is concluded, the young bride turns into a shrew. Harsh and domineering, she cajoles and insults Don Pasquale to the delight of an amazed Ernesto. The old man, dumbfounded by this change of situation, almost has a stroke when the young woman orders the servants to completely rearrange the furniture in the house.

Act 3:
Don Pasquale’s house is in utter turmoil and the bills are piling up: jewellery, hats, flowers, gowns... A distraught Don Pasquale even receives a slap when he tries to stop his young wife from going out to have some fun. His humiliation is complete when he finds a note arranging a secret tryst between the young woman and another suitor. Don Pasquale asks Malatesta to help rid him of his shrew of a wife. Malatesta suggests to Don Pasquale that they resolve the situation by way of a ruse. He compels the young wife to share her house with Norina, the future bride of Ernesto. The young woman replies that she would sooner leave than share her home with another woman. Don Pasquale is now eager to accept his nephew’s marriage to Norina, seeing it as a means to be rid of his own wife. Soon thereafter, Malatesta finally reveals the subterfuge to Don Pasquale: Sofronia and Norina are one and the same person. Initially annoyed and upset at having been taken advantage of, Don Pasquale is ultimately relieved to be rid of his termagant wife. He forgives them all and agrees to the union of the young couple.

Artists

Dramma buffo in three acts (1843)


Creative team

Cast

The Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Coproduction with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London and the Teatro Massimo, Palermo.

Media

[TRAILER] DON PASQUALE by Gaetano Donizetti
[TRAILER] DON PASQUALE by Gaetano Donizetti
  • Draw-me Don Pasquale

    Draw-me Don Pasquale

    Watch the video

  • Podcast Don Pasquale

    Podcast Don Pasquale

    Listen the podcast

Draw-me Don Pasquale

Watch the video

Understand the plot in 1 minute

1:09 min

Draw-me Don Pasquale

By Octave

Don Pasquale, an old greybeard, decides to take a wife in order to overturn his nephew Ernesto’s plans. Ernesto, however, with the help of Doctor Malatesta, undertakes to ensnare Don Pasquale in the meshes of his own trap, entrusting the role of bride-to-be to Norina, his own betrothed. Docile, then intractable, Norina excels in playing at false appearances. The conflict between the two generations smoulders and stokes the comedy whilst producing an undercurrent of wistful yearning. With sincerity and dramatic profundity, Damiano Michieletto opens a pathway to the heart of an apparently light-hearted work, renowned as the apotheosis of opera buffa.  

Podcast Don Pasquale

Listen the podcast

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" - by France Musique

07 min

Podcast Don Pasquale

By Nathalie Moller, France Musique

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" offers original incursions into the season thanks to broadcasts produced by France Musique and the Paris Opera. For each opera or ballet production, Nathalie Moller (opera) and Jean-Baptiste Urbain (dance), present the works and artists you are going to discover when you attend performances in our theatres. 

  • [EXTRAIT] DON PASQUALE by Donizetti (Julie Fuchs - "Pronta io son", Acte 1)
  • Don Pasquale - Ouverture

  • Don Pasquale - Acte III - Don Pasquale (Michele Pertusi) et Dottor Malatesta (Florian Sempey)

  • Don Pasquale - Acte III - Chœurs

  • Don Pasquale - Acte II - Ernesto (Lawrence Brownlee)

  • Don Pasquale - Acte I - Norina (Nadine Sierra )

Press

  • Damiano Michieletto gives Don Pasquale an entry into the repertoire worthy of the gold of the Palais Garnier.

    Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde, 13/06/2018
opera logo
Don Pasquale

Watch online the recording from season 17/18 on Paris Opera Play, with Michele Pertusi, Florian Sempey, Lawrence Brownlee, Nadine Sierra...

7-DAY FREE TRIAL Free trial 7 days

Access and services

Palais Garnier

Place de l'Opéra

75009 Paris

Public transport

Underground Opéra (lignes 3, 7 et 8), Chaussée d’Antin (lignes 7 et 9), Madeleine (lignes 8 et 14), Auber (RER A)

Bus 20, 21, 27, 29, 32, 45, 52, 66, 68, 95, N15, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Edouard VII16 16, rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris

Book your parking spot
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Restaurant

    CoCo is open every day from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. More information on coco-paris.com or at +33 1 42 68 86 80 (reservations).

  • Last-minute tickets

    €10 for seats with a limited view of the stage and special reduced rates are available. 

    LEARN MORE.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Edouard VII. It is located at Rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris (in front of 23 Rue de Caumartin).

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

At the Palais Garnier, buy €10 tickets for seats in the 6th category (very limited visibility, two tickets maximum per person) on the day of the performance at the Box offices.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Palais Garnier
  • Every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until performances end
  • Get in from Place de l’Opéra or from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 53 43 03 97

Palais Garnier

Place de l'Opéra

75009 Paris

Public transport

Underground Opéra (lignes 3, 7 et 8), Chaussée d’Antin (lignes 7 et 9), Madeleine (lignes 8 et 14), Auber (RER A)

Bus 20, 21, 27, 29, 32, 45, 52, 66, 68, 95, N15, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Edouard VII16 16, rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris

Book your parking spot
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Restaurant

    CoCo is open every day from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. More information on coco-paris.com or at +33 1 42 68 86 80 (reservations).

  • Last-minute tickets

    €10 for seats with a limited view of the stage and special reduced rates are available. 

    LEARN MORE.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Edouard VII. It is located at Rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris (in front of 23 Rue de Caumartin).

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

At the Palais Garnier, buy €10 tickets for seats in the 6th category (very limited visibility, two tickets maximum per person) on the day of the performance at the Box offices.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Palais Garnier
  • Every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until performances end
  • Get in from Place de l’Opéra or from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 53 43 03 97

Discover opera and ballet in another way

QR code

Dive into the Opera world and get insights on opera and pop culture or ballet and cinema. Scan this code to access all the quiz and blindtests on your mobile.

opera logo

3 min

Don Pasquale

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, the true/false story

Sham marriage and financial shenanigans… Fasten your seatbelts for a bumpy opera! Can you untangle this Don Pasquale’s synopsis mystery? You’re in.

Discover

Immerse in the Paris Opera universe

Follow us

Back to top