Act II finale, "Son tradito", at the Liceu in He leaves the room just as Pasquale enters, dressed in his outdated finery, along with his servants, to whom he gives instructions to admit Malatesta on his arrival. He parades around in his grand costume, hoping it will conceal his advancing years. Malatesta arrives with Norina in tow, and introduces her to Pasquale as his sister, Sofronia, fresh out of the convent. Norina consents to the proposed marriage, which delights Pasquale. He wants to send for the notary to conduct the ceremony straight away — conveniently, Malatesta has brought one along, who waits in the antechamber.
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Act II finale, "Son tradito", at the Liceu in He leaves the room just as Pasquale enters, dressed in his outdated finery, along with his servants, to whom he gives instructions to admit Malatesta on his arrival.
He parades around in his grand costume, hoping it will conceal his advancing years. Malatesta arrives with Norina in tow, and introduces her to Pasquale as his sister, Sofronia, fresh out of the convent. Norina consents to the proposed marriage, which delights Pasquale.
He wants to send for the notary to conduct the ceremony straight away — conveniently, Malatesta has brought one along, who waits in the antechamber. Malatesta fetches the supposed notary, as servants arrange a table. Taking his seat, the "notary" writes out a marriage contract as dictated by Malatesta and Pasquale Fra da una parta — "Between, on one hand" , where the Don bequeaths all his estate to be administrated by Sofronia.
The contract is quickly drawn up: Pasquale signs but, before Norina can affix her signature, Ernesto bursts in. Intending to say a final farewell, he is amazed to see Norina about to marry Pasquale. She announces her intention to teach him manners, and to have Ernesto as a gallant to accompany her on evening strolls.
Summoning the household staff, Norina recites a long list of demands — more servants young and handsome at that , carriages and horses, furniture — and instructs them to spare no expense doubling all their wages. Pasquale is stricken at his misfortune, so Malatesta urges him to go to bed. Dismayed by the piles of bills and invoices, the Don summons the courage to confront his tyrannical new wife.
Norina emerges, dressed to go out. He attempts to reason with her, but she pays little heed Signorina, in tanta fretta — "Madam, where are you off to in such a hurry".
He suggests that if she leaves, he may not allow her to return, an idea that she meets with patronising insincerity Via, caro sposino — "There, there, dear little husband" but the discussion ends in her slapping him.
As she exits, she drops a note which Pasquale picks up and reads. The note is addressed to Sofronia, arranging a meeting in the garden with its unnamed, admiring author. Pasquale calls for a servant to summon Malatesta, before leaving the room. The servants return and, amongst themselves, at once complain at the amount of work they are being made to do, and reveal how much they are enjoying the farcical drama developing between Pasquale and his new wife Che interminabile andirivieni!
At the approach of Malatesta and Ernesto, however, they exit, assured of more entertainment to come. Malatesta reminds Ernesto of the finer points of their plan, and the latter leaves.
Malatesta persuades him to moderate his plan and Pasquale, believing him an ally, consents to his conditions, while plotting his revenge on Norina Aspetta, aspetta, cara sposina — "Wait, wait, dear little wife". Don Pasquale and Malatesta have observed and, as they reveal themselves, Ernesto covers himself with a cloak and runs to the house.
Pasquale tries to confront Norina — he has caught her in flagrante — but this only provokes a fight that leaves the Don spluttering. She refuses to leave at his demand, so Malatesta, as per his agreement with Pasquale, takes over. Pasquale consents, and calls out to the house, from which Ernesto and the servants emerge. He instructs Ernesto to send for his would-be bride, but Malatesta reveals that Norina is in fact the woman Pasquale thinks he married, while the real Sofronia remains in a convent.
All are reconciled, and the moral of the story — not to marry in old age — is revealed in a playful quartet La moral di tutto questo — "The moral of all this".
Don Pasquale – G. Donizetti
A dirimere la bagarre intervenne Michele Accursi Amico di Donizetti , che propose di apporre le sue iniziali sul libretto. Per questo motivo, il libretto originale risulta a firma di "M. Chiede dunque al dottor Malatesta di trovargli una moglie. Il dottor Malatesta, essendo amico stretto di Ernesto, ordisce un piano per aiutare i due giovani innamorati: propone a Don Pasquale di sposare Sofronia, sua sorella, bella fanciulla appena uscita dal convento. Sapendo che Don Pasquale avrebbe accettato di buon grado la proposta, il dottor Malatesta mette in scena un finto matrimonio, chiedendo a Norina di travestirsi da Sofronia.
Don Pasquale Libretto
Don Pasquale - Don Pasquale