Grand Théâtre de Québec Ticket Office
Opéra de Québec
1220 Av. Taché
Québec (Québec) G1R 3B4
Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is a three-act opera recounting the misadventures of Don Pasquale, a miserly, elderly, confirmed bachelor. It premiered in Paris on January 3, 1843.
Ernesto, his nephew and heir, wants to marry Norina, a lovely but penniless young widow. Don Pasquale is having none of it and resolves to take a wife, produce an heir, and disinherit his nephew. That will show him! He tells Dr. Malatesta, who takes the young couple’s side and cooks up a scheme to fool the Don. Norina is enlisted to play the bride, who will be the doctor’s imaginary sister and Pasquale’s demure dream girl. Ernesto, unaware of what’s going on, believes his love is lost, while Don Pasquale’s supposedly supine and obedient bride steps away from the altar transformed into a pushy “shrew” with Dom Perignon tastes. The Don has no one to blame but himself—the joke, it turns out, is on him.
The opera reflects the traditions of opera buffa, with stock characters derived from commedia dell’arte. Director Jean-Sébastien Ouellete (Dom Juan, Le cas Joé Ferguson, La robe de Gulnara) sets the action in a fantasy of the 1960s that fits Giovanni Ruffini’s libretto and its themes like a glove, with Norina’s character a reflection of the women’s liberation movement of the day.
Original Italian version with French surtitles.
With Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Opéra de Québec chorus.