Dr. Malatesta's School for Marriage 

Spring is here and Ernesto is thinking of love and marriage, hopefully with the lovely but not wealthy widow, Norina. Sadly, Ernesto's uncle and patron, Don Pasquale, demands a better match immediately, and if Ernesto doesn't like it, he can get out. Trapped by this harsh bargain, Ernesto turns to his trusted doctor, Malatesta, for advice. And the good doctor prescribes a clever scheme: Trick Don Pasquale into marrying Malatesta's "sister" Sofronia, a chaste, humble, quiet girl fresh from the convent. But Sofronia will be played by Norina, and after the marriage ceremony, she'll reveal herself as a wanton gold digger, thereby scaring Don Pasquale off the idea of marriage for social position entirely. Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera Don Pasquale is rife with farcical twists and gorgeous melody, as well as some sober lessons about matchmaking. New Opera Saint Louis presents Don Pasquale at 8 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday (March 27 and 29) at St. Ambrose Church (5130 Wilson Avenue; 314-865-0038 or www.newoperastl.org). Tickets are $24 to $30.
Fri., March 27; Sun., March 29, 2009

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