Don Pasqualeby Gaetano Donizetti
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 90 Minutes
Candidate for Adaptation? Promising
The opening of the first act of “Don Pasquale” discloses the Don enraged with Ernesto, his nephew, because he will not marry to suit him. Dr. Malatesta, a mutual friend, comes to the help of Ernesto, to whom he is greatly attached, and contrives a scheme to further his interests. He urges the Don to marry a lady, pretending she is his (the doctor’s) sister, in reality Norina, with whom Ernesto is in love. Norina is let into the secret, her part being to consent to the marriage contract and then so torment Don Pasquale that he will be glad to get rid of her and even consent to her marriage with Ernesto.
Pleasant antics and some unusual opportunities for an ingenue to disguise herself in a caricature role. Much depends upon the audience’s enjoyment in the tormenting of an unsuspecting man, so you’d have to find a way to make that be fun rather than cruel. (The original operetta doesn’t quite succeed in that arena.) You might need to relocate either the place or the time due to the central conceit that a father gets to determine whom his son is to marry, no longer a contemporary American (or European) issue.
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