Post Cards from the Edge Donizetti’s Don Pasquale - 7 May 2016 - Florida Grand Opera, 7 pm. | Welcome to Fred’s Home Page

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale - 7 May 2016 - Florida Grand Opera, 7 pm. 

This was a fun opera upon which to end the season.  At least it wasn’t as dreary and depressing as the last opera, The Passenger,  which we walked out on at intermission.  Unfortuantely, the last two opening nights of The Passenger and Don Pasquale were very poorly attended.  It makes you wonder about the survivability of Florida Grand Opera.

The story line is pretty typical.  Don Pasquale wants his nephew to marry a particular woman but he refuses and holds out for the lovely, but poort, Norina.  Dr. Malatesta, Don Pasquale’s physician, is in cahoots with the nephew to insure he gets to marry Norina.  However, Don Pasquale hatches a scheme to marry first and deny the nephew his inheritance.  

Dr. Malatesta manages to have Don Pasquale marry (it’s a fake) Norina (who he thinks is Malatesta’s sister from a nunnery) and who both Norina and Dr. Malatesta don’t bother to notify Ernesto of their plans.  Insert the word farce here. Once married, as part of the plan, Norina makes demands and spends lavishly to the point Don Pasquale will do anything to get rid of her.  

Now with Ernesto on board, Dr. Malatesta and Norina arrange to have Don Pasquale catch Norina in flagrante delicto with an assignation (Ernesto).  Dr. Malatesta manages to have Don Pasquale insist Ernesto marry Norina (now exposed as Ernesto’s true love) and everyone lives happily ever after — except poor Don Pasquale who still has been fleeced.  The moral - reinforced by the final scene in case you missed it - is to not marry as an old man.  

The stage desin was very clever with Pensione Pasquale on the lower level, the dining facility atop and the two separated by laundry.  The voices of Irmiter as Don Pasquale and Álvarez as Ernesto were especially strong. Tatulescu had a dramatic soprano voice which was, at times, necessary to sing over the orchestra.  I didn’t particularly like her style, but she performed the role well.  

Image is from the web page of Florida Grand Opera.

© Fred Searcy 2017