Student Guide for Don Pasquale

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STUDY GUIDE March 17, 19, and 21st 2023
Don Pasquale
STUDY GUIDE CREATED BY PIEDMONT OPERA onnie Quinn xecutive Director ames Allbritten rtistic Director iedmont Opera 36 Holly Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 ickets: (336)725-7101 ww.piedmontopera.org

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Student Night

Piedmont opera's student night allows students to engage and explore our unique productions. Tickets are available to students and chaperones at a discounted price, as an opportunity to enjoy our final dress rehearsal. Don Pasquale is an opera in two acts, with a running time of approximately 2.5 hours, with a fifteen minute intermission. This is still an actively rehearsal and singers make not sing in full voice, or stage management may need to hold the rehearsal and workshop something on stage, or behind the scenes. Please refrain from applause, and leave the house quietly at the end of the production as the rehearsal may still be continuing. Tickets to student night are $5 for students, and $15 for chaperones. For more information or to reserve tickets please contact Piedmont Opera at 336.725.7101.

Opera Outreach

In partnership with the A.J Fletcher Opera program at UNCSA, Piedmont Opera offers in-school opera outreach performances. Schools can reserve this traveling elementary opera outreach across North Carolina. This opera performance is thirty minutes with a fifteen minute Q&A, and recommended for students in pre-k to fifth grade Outreach performances have concluded for the 2022-2023 season; to reserve, or be on the waitlist for the 2023-2024 season please email Lindsey Allen, lallen@piedmontopera.org.

GETENOUGHSLEEP

Piedmont Youth Chorus

The Piedmont Youth Chorus has three choirs (Kids, Voices, & PYC) for children ages five to eighteen. Students learn essential tools that they can use to express themselves, encouraging singers to find their voice in the world. These choirs empower singers in the community to expand their horizons and embrace a leading role in the world through new music, new friends and new-found sense of confidence. To audition or learn more please email Lindsey Allen, lallen@piedmontopera.org.

For information on student programs, contact Lindsey Allen at lallen@piedmontopera.org or 336.725.7101

45th Season

Piedmont Opera Presents Don Pasquale

Opera in three acts

Music by Gaetano Donizetti. Libretto by Giovanni Ruffini and Gaetano Donizetti. Don Pasquale premiered on January 3rd, 1843, at Salle Ventadour, Paris, France.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

March 17, 19, 21, 2023

The Stevens Center of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts

The Cast

Don Pasquale ……………………...…......…...…..…............ Brad Smoak*

Dr. Malatesta ………................................................….. Michael Redding

Ernesto …..............………......................……....……...... Kameron Alston

Norina …………................……………...........................…. Cree Carrico*

Carlino …………………........................................................ Jackson Ray

Conductor: John Mckeever

Stage Director: James Allbritten

Choreographer: Elizabeth Fowle

Lighting Designer: Norman Coates

Scenic Designer: John Pascoe

Costume Designer: Ann M. Bruskiewitz

Props Master: Lauren Daisy Reinhartsen

Wig and Make-up Designer: Destinee Steele

*Piedmont Opera Debut

Alicia Bivona

Suzanne Brown

Jonathan Burdette

Eby Buscher

Jill Carson

Hal Garrison

Ensemble

Jillian Griffey

Lawrence Hall

Caleb Horner

Katherine Ledbetter

Ashley Morgan

Guy Oldaker

Piedmont Opera Staff

Jackson Ray

Carmen Robinson

Jack Sargeant

Jesse Sykes

Executive Director .................................................................….. Connie Quinn

Artistic Director ....................................................................... James Allbritten

Sr. Director of Marketing and Community Engagement... Mariedith Appanaitis

Director of Education and Outreach....……………...................… Lindsey Allen

Director of Business and Patron Services ......................... Andrew Stenhouse

Production Manager ............................................................................ Bill Volz

Piedmont Youth Chorus Artistic Director .................................... Patrick Schell

Piedmont Youth Chorus Pianist ................................................. Susan Orgain

Production Staff

Production Stage Manager ………………………….……....…… Brenna Skinnon. Assistant Stage Managers ...............................................................Zane Alcorn, Alex Griner

Technical Director ............................................................................. Brian Fuller

Wardrobe Assistant .......................................................................... Dae Chapin

Wig and Make up Assistant ............................................................... Brittan Furr

Rehearsal Accompanists ........................................................... Nancy Johnston

Paulina Khatsko, Supertitle Creation .................................................................. Michael Chadwick

Scenery is provided courtesy of Virginia Opera. Certain costumes are provided by Sarasota Opera Association, Inc. Members of AGMA appear through the courtesy of the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO.

Any video and/or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Orchestra

Winston-Salem Symphony

1st Violin

Corine Brouwer, Concertmaster

Dan Skidmore

Irina Shelepov

Ewa Dharamraj

Ann Jones

2nd Violin

Fabrice Dharamraj

Gregorio Midero

Margaret Rehder

Naiara Sanchez

Viola

Louise Campbell

Kristen Beard

Cathy Dudley

Cello

Ryan Graebert

Gayle Masarie

Alex Johnston

Bass

Mara Barker

Harp

Helen Rifas

Flute

Kathryn Levy

Peter Shanahan

Oboe

Elise Conti

Clarinet

Ronald Rudkin

Eileen Young

Bassoon

Carol Bernstorf

Horn

Robert Campbell

Tim Papenbrock

Trumpet

Ken Wilmot

Trombone

Brian French

Timpani

Peter Zlotnick

Percussion

Isaac Pyatt

Vice President & General Manager, Artistic Operations ... Travis Creed

Librarian/Personnel Manager ............................................ Jeff Whitsett

SYNOPSIS

THE STORY OF DON PASQUALE

ACT I

The wealthy old bachelor Don Pasquale plans to marry to punish his rebellious nephew, Ernesto. Ernesto keeps refusing the suitable matches Pasquale’s trying to arrange and insists he wants to marry the poor widow Norina. So Don Pasquale decides to get married and disinherit his rebellious nephew, kicking him out of the house simultaneously. He consults Dr. Malatesta, who suggests as a bride his own beautiful younger sister, Sofronia. Feeling rejuvenated, the delighted Pasquale asks Malatesta to arrange a meeting at once. Ernesto arrives and again refuses to marry a woman of his uncle’s choice. Pasquale tells him that he will have to leave the house, then announces his marriage plans to his astonished nephew. With no inheritance, Ernesto sees his dreams evaporating. To make matters worse, he learns that his friend Malatesta has arranged Pasquale’s marriage.

Taking a break from her work at the laundry, Norina laughs over a silly romantic story she’s reading. She is confident of her ability to charm a man. Malatesta arrives. He is plotting on her and Ernesto’s behalf and explains his plan: Norina is to impersonate his sister, who is safely tucked away in a convent. She’ll marry Pasquale in a mock ceremony and drive him to such desperation that he will be at their mercy. Norina is eager to play the role if it helps her and Ernesto to be together. Ernesto, who knows nothing of Malatesta’s scheme, is desperate about the apparent loss of Norina and imagines his future as an exile. Conversely, Pasquale is impatient to meet his bride-to-be and is enchanted when Malatesta introduces the timid “Sofronia.” Pasquale decides to get married at once. During the wedding ceremony, Ernesto bursts in and accuse Norina of being unfaithful. Malatesta quickly and quietly explains to him what is going on, and Ernesto plays witness to the wedding contract. As soon as the document is sealed and Pasquale has signed over his fortune to his bride, Norina changes her act from a timid girl to a willful shrew. The shocked Pasquale protests, to the delight of Norina, Ernesto, and Malatesta.

1920'sWedding couple, unknown.
TheSalle Ventadouroperahouse,whereDon Pasqualepremiered in 1843.

SYNOPSIS

THE STORY OF DON PASQUALE

ACT II

Pasquale’s new “wife” has continued her extravagant ways and amassed a stack of bills. When servants arrive carrying more purchases, Pasquale furiously resolves to assert his rights as a husband. Norina, dressed elegantly for the theater, slaps him when he tries to bar her way. He threatens her with divorce, and she realizes she feels sympathy for the old man’s pain. As she leaves, she drops a letter implying that she has a rendezvous with an unknown suitor in the garden that night. The desperate Pasquale sends for Malatesta. Malatesta first tells Ernesto to ensure Pasquale will not recognize him when he plays his part in the garden that evening. Then, along with Pasquale, Malatesta assures him they will trap “Sofronia” in a compromising situation. Pasquale is happy to leave everything to Malatesta.

In the garden, Ernesto serenades Norina, and the two declare their love. Pasquale and Malatesta arrive—too late to catch the young man, who slips into the house, while “Sofronia” plays the innocent wife. Malatesta then announces that Ernesto is about to introduce his bride, Norina, into the house. “Sofronia” protests she will never share the roof with another woman and threatens to leave. Pasquale is overjoyed and grants permission for Ernesto to marry Norina with his inheritance. When Sofronia’s identity is finally revealed, Pasquale accepts the situation with good humor, gives the couple his blessing, and joins in, observing that marriage is not for an old man.

Pronunciation Guide

Pasquale: “pahss-KWAHL-ay”

Malatesta: “mah-lah-TEST-ah”

Ernesto: “ehr-NEST-oh”

Norina: “no-REE-nah”

Sofronia: “so-FRO-nee-ah”

DonPasquale,1843 Opera' Giclee Print.
DonPasqualepremiereat theThéâtreItalien

DON PASQUALE

(pronounced pahs-KWAH-leh)

The last of Donizetti’s comic operas, written in 1842, Don Pasquale tells the story of an ornery old fool cured of his desire to marry a much younger woman.

While the original libretto is set in 19th century Rome, Italy, Piedmont Opera's production is set around 1920's in America. The music and libretto are unchanged from the original production.

Donizetti’s 64th of some 66 operas, Don Pasquale is a staple of standard operatic repertoire, and is considered his comic masterpiece, as well as one of the three most popular Italian comic operas, the other two being Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Donizetti’s own The Elixir of Love.

The world premiere took place on January 3, 1843, at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris The production was an immediate success and was soon produced all over Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Donizetti’s best-known works are the operas L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Don Pasquale, all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite and La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment).

Along with Vincenzo Bellini and Gioachino Rossini, Donizetti was a leading composer of bel canto opera, a traditional Italian style of singing emphasizing tone, phrasing, coloratura passages, and technique.

The last time Piedmont Opera staged Don Pasquale was in 1986.

Fast Facts

Don Pasquale was one of 68 operas written by Donizetti over a period of 29 years, including previous Piedmont Opera productions like Mary Queen of Scots, L'elisir d'amore, and La Fille du Régiment. He averaged more than two and a third operas a year!

GAETANO Donizetti

Italian Composer

Legend has it that Donizetti wrote Don Pasquale in only two weeks. In fact, it wasn’t that quick, but the opera did premiere less than three months after he first put pen to paper, in October 1843.

Born on November 29, 1797 in Bergamo, Italy. He enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout Europe and his operas, together with Bellini’s, came to epitomize the Italian Romantic spirit of the 1830s Donizetti was given free admission to Simon Mayr’s school for choir boys when he was nine years old, and Mayr proved to be a major influence on the composer In 1814, he provided Donizetti with the financial and moral support he needed to move to Bologna to study counterpoint (the use of multiple melodies) Three years later, when Donizetti returned to Bergamo having decided he would be a composer of opera, Mayr secured a contract for him with a company in Venice for which Donizetti wrote four operas Donizetti’s first notable work was his production of Zoraida di Granata in Rome in 1822 For the next several years he produced two to five operas a year, from one-act farces to full-length serious works; these were presented in Naples, Rome, Palermo and Genoa. 1830, saw Donizetti’s first international success with Anna Bolena, and by that time he had written 23 operas. In 1835, Rossini invited Donizetti to visit Paris to present Marino Faliero at the Théâtre-Italien. This was Donizetti’s first experience with opera in the grand tradition, and he was impressed with the artistic standards and the lucrative pay. Although he returned to Naples later that year to write and produce Lucia di Lammermoor, he did not stay long. During his first two years in France, Donizetti’s operas were performed in four Paris theatres, much to the chagrin of other contemporary French composers He rewrote the score of Lucia for a French production, and though not the artistic success of the Italian original, the exposure it received established his reputation as an eminent European composer Among the many operas Donizetti wrote in his later years were La fille du régiment (1840), La favorite (1840), Don Pasquale (1843) and Dom Sébastien (1843) Don Pasquale became an overnight success at Paris’s ThéâtreItalien and was widely regarded as a comic masterpiece In rehearsal for his last opera, Dom Sébastien, Donizetti’s behavior became erratic and obsessive It was discovered that Donizetti was suffering from cerebro-spinal degeneration, and he was sent to a sanatorium near Paris. Although he was returned home to Bergamo in October of 1847, Donizetti was paralyzed and unable to speak. He was attended by friends and family until his death on April 8, 1848.

VOICE TYPES

Since the early 19th century, singing voices have usually been classified in six basic types, three male and three female, according to their range.

Soprano: the highest-pitched general type of human voice, normally possessed only by women and boys.

Mezzo-Soprano: the female voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto (Italian “mezzo” = middle, medium).

Contralto: the lowest female voice, also called an alto.

Tenor: the highest naturally occurring voice type in adult males.

Baritone: the male voice lying below the tenor and above the bass.

Bass: the lowest sounding male voice.

GIOVANNI RUFFINI

"Librettist"

Giovanni Ruffini was a writer and Italian patriot born in Genoa, Italy. He had been condemned to death as an enemy of the state and was living in exile in Paris in 1842 when it was suggested to him by Jules Janin (newly appointed director of Théâtre-Italien) that he might offer his services to Donizetti as a librettist. Donizetti told him exactly what he required for his latest project, Don Pasquale, but not that he intended to adapt music he had already written for other purposes. Ruffini duly wrote the draft libretto from the original text of Ser Marcantonio dating back to 1810, but Donizetti changed so much from Ruffini’s version that Ruffini became angry and refused to allow his name to be included in the programme for the premiere at the Théâtre Italien in Paris January 3, 1843.

WHAT IS A LIBRETTO?

Libretto means “little book” in Italian. It refers to the written text of an opera set to music by the composer. Today, we commonly refer to an opera as being ‘by’ the composer of the music, but the text is a vital component and is normally written first. In earlier times it was often regarded as more important than the music, and it was common for audience members to purchase the libretto to read. Early composers were usually contracted to set music to a pre-existing text. Only later did composers (such as Mozart and Verdi) work in close collaboration with their librettists. A few composers – notably Wagner – wrote their own texts.

Bel Canto

Bel Canto (Italian for “beautiful singing”) is the term to describe the elegant Italian vocal style of opera that originated in the mid-1700s and flourished through the first decades of the 19th century. Donizetti was one of the three leading bel canto composers. He wrote Don Pasquale in 1842, at the end of what was known as the bel canto era (approximately 1805-1840).

Characteristics of Bel Canto Singing:

A smooth style of singing, or legato, across the entire range

Agility and flexibility that enables the singer to manage vocal embellishments with ease

Lack of noticeable breath sounds and excessive vibrato

Clear attack and diction

Full, even tones

A well-focused timbre

Refined breath control that governs graceful phrasing

OPERA Definitions

Opera Buffa

Opera buffa is an Italian term meaning “comic opera” which is used to describe the Italian comic operas of the early 1700s to mid 1800s Opera buffa originated in Naples, Italy and arose as a parallel genre to that of the more serious, opera seria Opera seria dealt mainly with subjects of interest to its audience of kings and nobility, and had plots that revolved around gods, wars, and the triumphs and tribulations surrounding royal life Opera buffa, in contrast, usually involved comic characters and relatable situations, as in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville The genre developed from the intermezzi (short comic operas that were performed between the acts of serious operas) Don Pasquale is considered to be one of the last true opera buffas The genre began to fall out of favour by the mid19th century, as opera-goers gravitated towards the influences of Verdi and Wagner.

Characteristics of Opera Buffa:

Everyday settings and relatable situations

Comic characters influenced by commedia dell’arte

Simple vocal writing (basso buffo as the associated voice type)

Patter song: A comic song which is sung at a high speed with a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns in which each syllable of text corresponds to one note The text is often filled with difficult, tongue-twisting lyrics Patter songs are frequently reprised (to get the singers to sing them even faster) A patter song in Don Pasquale can be heard in the last section of each of Pasquale’s and Malatesta’s verses in their duet “Cheti, cheti, immantinente” in Act 2

Set numbers are linked by recitativo secco: a dialogue that, rather than sung as an aria, is sung with the rhythms of ordinary speech, by using only a few pitches.

Accompaniment is by continuo, which is usually a harpsichord (in the case of Don Pasquale however, the recitativo is accompanied by strings)

Ensemble finale: A long, formally organized conclusion to an opera act which includes all principal characters.

VISIT US AT PIEDMONT OPERA

After three years of planning, Piedmont Opera (previously known as Piedmont Opera Theatre) raised the curtain on its first production, Verdi’s Rigoletto, in September 1978. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, this production and the four subsequent years were produced in conjunction with other regional opera companies In 1983, Piedmont Opera Theatre was able to produce Puccini’s La boheme on its own

Founded by the late Norman Johnson (1928-1996), Piedmont Opera is now in its 45th year of continuous operation The company strives to remain a nationally recognized and acclaimed regional opera company and a leader in the classical arts community.

Piedmont Opera produces the highest quality opera productions possible by using international, national, regional, and local professional singers and technicians Piedmont Opera currently attracts patrons from 42 states and 11 countries

In addition to two regularly scheduled productions each year, Piedmont Opera also conducts a wide variety of educational and outreach programs. As the second-largest opera company in the state of North Carolina, Piedmont Opera has a current operating budget of one million and operates with an administrative staff of five fulltime positions.

James Allbritten Artistic Director
Piedmont Opera 636 Holly Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Tickets: (336)725-7101 www.piedmontopera.org facebook.com/PiedmontOpera @PiedmontOpera
Lindsey Allen Director of Education and Outreach Connie Quinn Executive Director Mariedith Appanaitis Director of Marketing Andrew Stenhouse Director of Business and Patron Services
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