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Don Pasquale

Don Pasquale is one of Donizetti's funniest operas and features some of his loveliest music. A foolish old man Don Pasquale wants to marry and have an heir in order to cut off his rebellious nephew Ernesto without a penny. Ernesto is in love with Norina. Don Pasquale is duped by Dr Malatesta into marrying a ‘country girl’ Sofronia, who is actually Ernesto’s lover Norina. Once married, she turns into a monster and goes on an extravagant spending spree with Pasquale’s money and he wishes he had never married her…

With elegant 1940s costumes our beautiful production of Don Pasquale toured to 20 venues across the UK.  Don Pasquale was conducted by Fraser Goulding and designed by Gabriella Ingram.


If you like your opera fresh, frothy and funny — with a light sprinkling of snow — then Mansfield Palace Theatre was the place to be on Sunday.That’s when the enterprising Swansea City Opera made a return visit to town with Donizetti’s comic masterpiece ‘Don Pasquale.’

And for those who braved the snow, it was an evening of excellent entertainment in the best “bel canto” tradition from a quality quartet that delivered on every note in this beautifully staged production in 1840s costumes.

This was more than evident in this, the most popular of Donizetti’s 66 operas, in a story of love, deception and marrying at your peril, something that elderly bachelor Don Pasquale (Paul Hudson) found out after being tricked into marrying a younger woman to disinherit his nephew, Ernesto (Ben Kerslake). But the brains behind this cunning plan was family friend Malesta (Aris ) who was more interested in advancing the cause of his sister, Norina (Helen Massey) getting hitched to Ernesto . . . something that Don Pasquale finally agreed to as well signing up to the sentiments “that old men marry at their peril.”

Tony Spittles,
The Chad and Worksop Guardian

Photography by Guy Harrop –

  • What a superb evening of opera! We had seen Opera North’s Otello at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal the previous evening which was excellent and Don Pasquale was every bit as good if not better. The set and costumes were colourful, creative and eye catching, the music faultless and the singing superb. Helen Massey was sublime, Paul Hudson excellent and the rest of the cast almost as good. The singing, acting, movement and communication with the audience were all of the highest order – one of the best productions we have ever seen. We will certainly be back to see the next Swansea City Opera production.

    Palace Theatre Mansfield
  • I took several piano pupils (and their friends & families). The venue is not daunting and there is a real sense of us all being involved, part of the performance & contributing to it. Doing opera on this chamber scale is brilliant, there’s nothing intimidating. The whole production was superb, sets, production, brilliantly reduced orchestration & superb singing.

    Opera House Buxton
  • I thought Don Pasquale was a wonderful performance & very colourful & well lit, in our small gem of a theatre which has recently been restored. I do hope you will return to grace our stage again some time with another great performance. I don’t remember opera coming to Ayr since my return from London 22 years ago.

    Gaiety Theatre Ayr
  • The talk was very informative, setting the opera in context and style. The singing and characterisations were spot on throughout. Comedy was to the forefront and well delivered. PERFECT NIGHT OUT!

    Harrogate Theatre
  • Don Pasquale???? thought we were going to see Joe Pasquale!!! Lol - only kidding... I am (well was) an 'opera virgin' with no interest but thought we'd give this a go and oh boy are we glad we did. Amazing. Funny, beautiful singing, costumes and faultless. Sat in awe at times, especially during the 2nd half when Don P & the doctor performed a piece that was soooooo fast it made my head spin. Well done and Bravo!!

    Theatre Severn Shrewsbury