Gaetano Donizetti, Don Pasquale
Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 3 April 2018
Don Pasquale, or, The Revenge of the Dead Mother
Don Pasquale is an Italian opera buffa using the Commedia dell’Arte as a model: Don Pasquale is Pantaloon, the old man destined to be deceived; Norina is Columbina, the young woman coveted by the old man; Dr Malatesta is Scapin, the wily schemer; Ernesto can be thought of as Pierrot, the unhappy inamorato.
But Donizetti’s work is anything but a comedy of masks: the characters are fleshed out and have well-rounded psychologies. Don Pasquale is a work that looks to Falstaff more than The Barber of Seville and Donizetti’s music often questions its own position in the buffo genre. Here it simply creates a sentimental, if not tragic, element…