Gaetano Donizetti

an Italian libretto completed largely by Mikele Akkursi

(pseudonym of Giovanni Ruffini)

recycling an earlier libretto

of Angelo Anelli «Sir Marc Antonio».

«Don Pasquale»

opera-buffa in 3 acts


Opera buffa in 3 acts

The performance has two intermissions.

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes

Age category: 10+

The opera is performed in Italian with synchronized Russian and Kazakh subtitles



Don Pasquale, old bachelor (bass)

Dr. Malatesta, his friend and physician, part-time (baritone)

Ernesto, his nephew (tenor)

Norina, widow (soprano)

Carlito, Malatesta's cousin, sham notary (baritone)


Symphony orchestra, chorus and ballet of the Abay Kazakh National Opera and Ballet Theater 


Production team:

Stage conductor

- Kanat Omarov

Stage director, set designer, costume designer

- Matteo Mazzoni (Italy)

Production Designer Assistant

- Elisabeth Salvatori (Italy)

Video artist

- Luca Attili (Italy)

Costume Designer Assistant

- Roberta Frattini (Italy)


- Galymzhan Berekeshev


For the first time, the opera “Don Pasquale” by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti on the libretto by Giovanni Ruffini based on Stefano Pavesi's play “Sir Marc Antonio” was released in Italy on January 3, 1843.

An order for the opera by Gaetano Donizetti was received in the autumn of 1842 from the theater manager Jules Gabriel Janin. At that time, the composer was working on the opera “Linda di Chamounix”, which was performed at the Italian Theater in Paris. The cast was truly "star": Julia Grisi, Marie di Candia, Luigi Lablach, Antonio Tamburini.


By the time of the creation of “Don Pasquale”, Gaetano Donizetti was at the zenith of fame, but these years cannot be called happy for him. However, despite the difficult state of mind, Donizetti took up the composition of the comic opera and created it - as usual - in short time. As it should be, according to the canons of classical comedy, the action of the opera Don Pasquale does not go beyond one place - at home, where the main intrigue unfolds.


The premiere of the opera “Don Pasquale” in Almaty on the stage of the Abay Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater took place on October 9, 1955.


The director of the performance was A. Barannikov, production designer A. Moldabekov, conductor V. Chernov, choirmaster P. Okrushko, choreographer Y. Kovalev. At the premiere, the main parts were performed by: Don Pasquale - A. Kazakevich, People's Artist of the Kazakh SSR, Ernesto - Y. Yakunin, Norina - N. Kuklin, Doctor Malatesta - N. Voronkov.

Later, the part of Don Pasquale was sung by V. Kharitonov, Norina - G. Jachimovic and K. Boboshko.

The opera went on stage for two years and no longer resumed.


After many years, one of the best operas of Gaetano Donizetti returns to the stage of the Abay KSATOB.



Prodiction-Director, scenographer, costume designer for the opera “Don Pasquale”:


“The plot of Don Pasquale speaks about a typical situation of the “Commedia dell’arte” , so famous we could find it in many others “opera buffa“, like for example in “La Serva Padrona“ of Pergolesi, written almost one century before: an old man, rich and boring, who wants to marry a young woman, usually of lower social class, beauty and astute, who is in love with another man, younger like her, and and all the fun games of misunderstandings that can arise accordingly.

Also in this opera, which Donizetti calls “Dramma buffo in tre atti”, we have three men, the old man, the younger, and a good friend, all around a young widow, Norina, the true engine of the story, who manages to excel over all with her malice and cunning.

So we decided to move the story from the point of view of Norina, as a symbol of women’s emancipation in the last centuries, passing through some of the most famous Italian ages: the 1800s, the last Rome of the Popes, the 50s, the age of “Vacanze romane”, and in our days, the 2019, in the luxurious and fashionable Italy…

First act, we are in Rome, at the beginning of 1800, the curtain rises just during the funeral of Norina’s husband… later, after entering Don Pasquale’s house, and at the heart of the plot, the public will meet Norina at home, caged by the social conventions of the time, unable to live with the man she loves now.

As the story progresses, Norina with her feminine weapons becomes stronger and stronger, in a new figure of a woman ... so in the second act the audience will be screened in the Rome of the 50s, where our singers will turn into the characters of the typical Italian cinema comedy, De Sica, Mastroianni, Sofia Loren.

And finally, for the third act, to talk about the triumph of Norina, which has become the strong modern woman more and more at the center of our society, we have chosen to move the tale to our days, to 2019, in the Italy of fashion and design.

This production, to create all these special effects and changes of time, will stage a complex scenographic setting, with a refined taste in recreating the Italian atmospheres and style, and the strong suggestion of video projections and video mapping, combining the modern technology to the world of opera.

I followed the same objective with the costumes, in the search for materials and lines according to the fashion of the different eras faced, for a great entertaining show, widening the “Don Pasquale” to a fun ( I hope ) rhapsody of life, of love."