Don Pasquale ©Vincent Pontet

Don Pasquale

14 October2 November 2019
The performance lasts about 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one interval.
Main Stage
Opera and music

Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel heads the cast for this new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations. The witty story of a middle-aged man whose supposed young wife runs rings around him – with her own ulterior romantic purpose in mind – has long delighted and surprised audiences, not least as presented with the sparkle of its music and the virtuoso skill of its performers. Damiano Michieletto’s exhilarating production shows how contemporary the characters still are and how immediate and touching the story remains.

Approximate running times
Act I and II: 1 hour 25 minutes
Interval: 25 minutes
Act III: 45 minutes
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Generous philanthropic support from

The Friends of Covent Garden.

A co-production with:

Opéra national de Paris and Teatro Massimo, Palermo



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

The marriage takes place – witnessed by a fake notary – after which the young bride becomes utterly overbearing and unpleasant, tormenting her ‘husband’. When Pasquale discovers a note from his ‘wife’ arranging a rendezvous with a lover, he determines to confront her and end his misery. The conspirators are now set to reveal their trickery, but will Don Pasquale forgive them?


CompanyThe Royal Opera

ComposerGaetano Donizetti

Libretto 1Giovanni Ruffini

Libretto 2Gaetano Donizetti

DirectorDamiano Michieletto

Set designerPaolo Fantin

Costume designerAgostino Cavalca

Lighting designerAlessandro Carletti

Video designerrocafilm


There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps. There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without the need to negotiate steps. In addition, many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by 10 steps or fewer. Find out more about accessing the Main Stage Auditorium.