Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel makes his role debut as the eponymous rich bachelor in a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (1843) at the Royal Opera House, the London-based opera house has announced.

Terfel made his Royal Opera debut in 1992, playing Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1787) and has since sung many roles at Covent Garden. Most recently he played the title role in Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1874) in the 2018-19 summer season. He returns later this season to sing Baron Scarpia in Tosca (Puccini, 1900).

Italian director Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations explores the themes of love, intrigue and money. It shows how contemporary the characters appear and how relevant the story remains.

Wealthy old bachelor Don Pasquale is outraged when he hears his nephew Ernesto intends to marry the impoverished widow Norina. He determines to get married himself, and disinherit Ernesto in the process. Ernesto and Norina despair, but their friend Doctor Malatesta promises to help them – and to teach Pasquale a lesson.

Malatesta persuades Norina to disguise herself as his sister, then presents her to Don Pasquale as a potential bride. Pasquale is so delighted with the young woman’s docile behaviour that he demands they marry at once.

After a fake marriage, Norina torments Don Pasquale with her capricious behaviour. Things come to a head when Don Pasquale believes his young wife has been unfaithful – but what will he do next? Will he ever forgive Ernesto and Norina when he learns about their plot to trick him?

Award-winning Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko makes her Royal Opera debut as Norina, while Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea plays Ernesto. Italian Evelino Pidò conducts all performances.

The set designs are by Paolo Fantin, with costumes by Agostino Cavalca and lighting by Alessandro Carletti. The video designers are rocafilm (Roland Horvath and Carmen Zimmermann).

Don Pasquale opens on the Royal Opera House’s main stage on 14 October.



Donizetti’s Don Pasquale comes to the Royal Opera House’s main stage this month.