Gaetano Donizetti

Don Pasquale

Mar 4 - Mar 18

Donizetti’s lighthearted farce stars celebrated debutante soprano Eleonora Buratto, tenor Javier Camarena, a new king of the high Cs, and baritone Ambrogio Maestri, the recent and unforgettable Met Falstaff—an ideal team for this comic romp. Otto Schenk’s 2006 production provides a colorful backdrop. Maurizio Benini conducts.

Read Synopsis Read Program
  • Sung In
  • Italian
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 2 hrs 53 mins
  • House Opens
  • Acts I & II 89 mins
  • Intermission 37 mins
  • Act III 48 mins
  • Opera Ends
Mar 4 - Mar 18

This production has completed for the season.

Be sure to check out our remaining productions on the season list.

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A scene from Don Pasquale

World premiere: Théâtre Italien, Paris, 1843. Met stage premiere: January 8, 1900. The story of Don Pasquale revolves around a classic comedic premise: a young couple in love schemes to thwart the inappropriate plans of a pompous old man, who wants to marry the girl himself. What makes the opera notable within this familiar genre is its emphasis on genuine human emotion. Donizetti’s score is graceful and effervescent, as one would expect from this master of melody, but adds an additional level of sophistication to match the comic (yet insightful) proceedings.


Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) composed about 75 operas in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Most of his works disappeared from the public eye after his death, but critical and popular opinion of his huge opus has grown considerably over the past 50 years. The Pasquale libretto was written by Giovanni Ruffini (1807–1881), a Genoese poet and patriot who was living in exile in Paris. Donizetti altered his text to such an extent that Ruffini refused to have it published under his own name.

Production Otto Schenk

Set & Costume Designer Rolf Langenfass

Lighting Designer Duane Schuler

Gaetano Donizetti


Gaetano Donizetti


A scene from Don Pasquale

The action unfolds in Rome. Donizetti had originally wanted the opera set in his contemporary era, but conventions required it to be set in the past. The Met’s production brings the story to Donizetti’s time, the early 19th century.


The solos in Don Pasquale are not as familiar as their counterparts in some of Donizetti’s other operas, but they are excellent indicators of character and motivation. The heroine’s entrance aria is highly demanding vocally but also communicates the character’s high spirits and quick wit. The tenor’s Act III folk-influenced serenade perfectly expresses the forthright innocence suggested by his name, Ernesto. The baritone–bass duet in Act III is one opera’s most expert examples of using rhythm and accelerating tempo to make a comic impression.

Met History

The 1978 new production of Don Pasquale starred Beverly Sills as Norina and French baritone Gabriel Bacquier in the title role (pictured), with Nicolai Gedda as Ernesto. Sills’s five other Met roles also included the title heroine of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

Don Pasquale