Hailed by The Financial Times as "a Glyndebourne classic", Mariame Clément's 2013 production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale is remembered as a highlight of the celebrated festival's past seasons. Her perceptive re-interpretation of the masterpiece starred the opera buffa expert Alessandro Corbelli as Don Pasquale and the scintillating soprano Danielle de Niese as Norina, joined by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus under the baton of Enrique Mazzola.
In 1842, the director of Paris' Théâtre-Italien Jules Janin suggested to Donizetti the idea of composing a new opera tailored to the talents of Giulia Grisi, Antonio Tamburini, and Luigi Lablache, some of the most popular singers of the day. Donizetti took him at his word, and produced a work now considered the high point of the 19th-century opera buffa tradition. Drawing on selected commedia dell'arte stock characters, the librettist Giovanni Ruffini (in collaboration with Donizetti himself) brought to life in unforgiving detail the story of the curmudgeonly old Don Pasquale, who decides to marry in order to disinherit his nephew Ernesto for himself wanting to marry a young woman judged unsuitable by his uncle. To select a bride, Don Pasquale turns to Dr. Malatesta, who recommends his own convent-raised sister Sofronia. Little does Don Pasquale know that the girl is actually Ernesto's love, Norina, in disguise...
Photo © Clive Barda
Patrice Caurier, Moshe Leiser (stage directors) – Evelino Pidò (music director) – With Natalie Dessay (Lucie) and Ludovic Tézier (Henri Asthon)
Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Hall – Maxim Mironov (Don Ramiro), Ruxandra Donose (Cenerentola) – Glyndebourne Festival