Cape Town Opera, in collaboration with UCT Opera School, will present the uproarious opera buffa Don Pasquale at the Baxter. The comic opera is in three acts with an Italian libretto completed largely by Giovanni Ruffini as well as the composer, Gaetano Donizetti.
The course of true love never runs smooth in Italian comedies, and there are twists and turns aplenty in Donizetti’s work, in which the young lovers Norina and Ernesto decide to teach an unscrupulous elderly bachelor a lesson.
At its premiere Don Pasquale was performed by four of the most celebrated singers of the day and was an immediate success. It was recognized at the time as Donizetti’s comic masterpiece and, to this day, is still considered as such. Pasquale remains one of the most popular of his 66 operas, as well as being one of the three most popular Italian comic operas, the others being Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Donizetti’s own L’elisir d’amore.
The first performance in Italy was at La Scala, Milan on 17 April 1843 with Ottavia Malvani (Norina), Napoleone Rossi (Pasquale), Leone Corelli (Ernesto), and Achille De Bassini (Malatesta).
For this production German director Claudia Blersch will return to Cape Town after her hugely entertaining 2017 La Cenerentola, with Italian designer Giulio Bernardi joining Maritha Visagie to bring a slice of Neapolitan life to the Baxter stage.
Singers from the CTO Young Artist Programme will join outstanding young performers from the UCT Opera School, including Brittany Smith as Norina, Nkululeko Masuku as Ernesto, Luvuyo Mbundu as Malatesta, and guest artist Bongani Khubeka appearing as Don Pasquale.
Spanish conductor Daniel Montané will make his Cape Town debut, leading the young musicians of the UCT Symphony Orchestra through the bittersweet highs and lows of this sparkling comedy.
What: Don Pasquale
Where and when: Baxter from 21 to 25 August 2018