Don Pasquale

Gaetano Donizetti


A Toast to Tinseltown

Bursting with pure fun. This production of Donizetti’s bubbly farce presents the miserly aristocrat Don Pasquale as a silent movie star facing the end of his career in 1950s Hollywood. Locked in a battle of wits and wills with his lovesick nephew Ernesto and the crafty widow Norina, Pasquale must grapple with the new problems and possibilities of the modern technicolor world. It takes the clever scheming of the family doctor to teach the old curmudgeon a lesson—but not before a series of amusing catastrophes threaten to shatter his ego for good.

Preliminary runtime of 2 hours and 26 minutes, including one intermission.

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.


  • Cast & Creative Team

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  • Synopsis

    Don Pasquale is an old film star from the silent movie era as famous as the great Norma Desmond. He lives in an old mansion on Sunset Boulevard that is as devoid of color as his old black-and-white films. His ward and nephew, Ernesto, has refused an arranged marriage, proclaiming his love for Norina, a popular Hollywood starlet. Don Pasquale, outraged, decides to disinherit the boy and beget his own heirs. 

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  • Listen

    Listen to Don Pasquale on Spotify.

  • 55th Anniversary Season Gala

    Join us on opening night for an evening of entertainment, champagne, and Hollywood glamour at Minnesota Opera’s 55th Anniversary Season Gala. This show-stopping red carpet event features some of the season’s best entertainment, style, and a killer after-party you won’t want to miss!

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  • Composer Biography

    With nearly 70 operas to his credit, Gaetano Donizetti was the leading Italian composer in the decade between Vincenzo Bellini’s death and the ascent of Giuseppe Verdi. Donizetti was born in the northern Italian city of Bergamo to an impoverished family. After showing some musical talent, he was enrolled in the town’s Lezioni Caritatevoli, where he had the good fortune to study with Giovanni Simone Mayr, maestro di cappella at Santa Maria Maggiore. 

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