Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Don Pasquale, Florentine Opera, 05-02-04

Sunday the 2nd was a busy day for us. Besides going to the Museum in the morning, we finished this season of the Florentine Opera with a very pleasant production of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale". This comic opera has a very slight plot: Pasquale, an elederly batchelor has decided to take a wife in order to spite his nephew, Ernesto, who has spurned the rich widow Pasquale wants him to marry, in favor of the poor but beautiful and spirited Rosina. Pasquale has trusted the family friend Dr. Malatesta to find him a suitable spouse. However, Malatesta is not only sympathetic to Norina and Ernesto, but thinks Don Pasquale is being foolish, so offers Pasquale his supposedly convent-educated sister "Sophronia." In reality, the marriage is a fake, and Norina plays the part of Sophronia to make Pasquale's life a hell so that he regrets the very idea of marriage. The comedy plays out in Norina's Jekyll-Hyde transition from the modest convent girl into a worldly termagant, and Pasquale's astonishment and dismay. Eventually, he is brought to wish that he had consented to Ernesto's marriage, and his problems are solved when his wish is granted by the conspirators. We had a very excellent cast, with Pasquale very ably acted and sung, and Norina with a very powerful and beautiful voice. The opera was presented in an elegant and attractive setting and was suitably costumed. We enjoyed the performance thouroughly.
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