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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1491″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Opera buffa and Reality TV, One Hilarious Package” alignment=”left” spacer=”line_only” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#c1601b” margin_design_tab_text=””]Director’s Notes on Don Pasquale by Erin Neff[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”996″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Donizetti’s comedic masterpiece was written towards the end of his career in 11 days. Eleven days!!  That is how long it takes me to fold my laundry.  The water was different back then apparently.

This story reminds me of watching reality TV. It reveals how ridiculous we humans can be.  Why is it so fascinating to watch someone’s life spiral out of control? Why is it so compelling to watch people make terrible choices?   This is straight up opera buffa where you see characters pulled directly from the Commedia Dell’Arte tradition.

Pasquale is the blustery Pantalone who has never married but has managed to amass great wealth. Ernesto, the lovesick Pierrot, who has been coddled by his Uncle Pasquale can not imagine anything worse than poverty so he consequently gives up his beloved Norina.  Malatesta is  the scheming Scapino, who for years has  tolerated the  idiotic Pasquale to keep him employed, and Norina finally as a manipulative and wily, Colombina. She is unapologetic in her tactics to get what she wants.

While the story itself is very simplistic, Donizetti creates a way that  easily conveys the dilemmas of our mortal existence: Idealized love,  powerlessness of poverty, the ingenuity of desperation, longing, lost potential of a life of fulfillment,  and deception.  Donizetti is a genius. He knows that life at best is farce and we should take a note from him and  know how to laugh at ourselves.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”1575″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]