Welsh National Opera’s Reimagining of Don Pasquale on Tour

WNO’s upcoming summer tour is a dazzling new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. The exploits of a contemporary Don Pasquale take to the road in this riotous new staging of the classic comic opera from May 25 to July 13. Set in and around Pasquale’s doner kebab van, it’s the story of an old bachelor’s romantic delusions and the young lovers who outwit him.

Driving Don Pasquale into the 21st Century

Director Daisy Evans, musical director Stephen Higgins and designer Loren Elstein have ripped up the rule book and changed the design, narrative and libretto to bring Donizetti’s opera bang up to date for a completely new audience as well as those who may already know and love the work. Elstein has created a witty set which transports you to downtown Cardiff and positions the piece very firmly in the present day.

Don Pasquale features a small cast and an on-stage orchestra creating an intimate, operatic experience where the audience is on the very edge of the action, giving a new perspective on this Donizetti classic which is suitable for all ages.

The uproarious new story

This contemporary production tells the story of a self-important man and the young sweethearts who outsmart him in this version for 2019. Don Pasquale (Andrew Shore) is the larger-than-life self-made patriarch who came to Cardiff in the 1970s to seek his fortune. He buys a kebab van and tenaciously builds his empire up; it now does a roaring trade on a Friday night. His nephew Ernesto (Nico Darmanin), a wannabe singer/songwriter, has come to stay with him. But Don Pasquale doesn’t think much of this poetry-writing millennial who doesn’t pull his weight. Pasquale doesn’t want to hand his kebab van over to his nephew when he dies and decides to get married and produce heirs in order to cut his nephew out completely.

Pasquale’s quest to find a wife shocks Ernesto into action, and he and his vegan girlfriend Norina (Harriet Eyley) and local geezer Malatesta (Quirijn De Lang) conspire to trick the older man, to secure their future and drag him into the 21st Century.


Taking the van on tour

Following on from the success of Elena Langer’s Rhondda Rips It Up! in 2018, this comic opera will tour to mid-scale venues across Wales and England. The company continues its commitment to reach a wide range of audiences with a varied operatic repertoire, bringing opera to towns and cities with smaller theatres not able to accommodate the full-scale company. This is Don Pasquale like you’ve never seen or heard before.

Director and librettist Daisy Evans says “This Don Pasquale is fresh, contemporary and unique. It has been reimagined for a modern audience, and sees current issues driving this classic comedy.

“Pasquale is proud of his kebab van and the years of service he has provided to late night revellers in Cardiff, but he’s grown mean-minded and scared of modernisation. His nephew Ernesto and his girlfriend Norina stand for the future – calling for less plastic use, eco-conscious dining and stripped back design. The two sides are pitted against each other in a comedy that is bound to have you laughing as well as thinking”

Welsh Nation Opera Don Pasquale Summer Tour

  • Sat 25 May, Newport Riverfront, 7.30pm, Box Office (01633) 656757

  • Sat 1 Jun, Swansea Taliesin, 7.30pm, Box Office (01792) 602060                  

  • Thu 6 Jun, Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, 7.30pm, Box Office (01646) 695267

  • Sat 8 Jun, Birmingham Mac, 7.30 pm, Box Office (0121) 446 3232               

  • Thu 13 Jun, The Courtyard, Hereford, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01432) 340 555

  • Sun 16 Jun, Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury, 7.00 pm, Box Office (01743) 281 281

  • Tue 18 Jun, Oxford Playhouse, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01865) 305305                           

  • Thu 20 Jun, Norwich Playhouse, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01603) 598 598       

  • Sat 22 Jun, Norwich Playhouse, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01603) 598 598                       

  • Wed 26 Jun, Theatr Clywd, Mold, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01352) 701521      

  • Thu 4 Jul, Bangor, Pontio, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01248) 382828     

  • Sat 6 Jul, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, 7.30 pm, Box Office (01874) 611622

  • Tue 9 Jul, Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare, 7.30 pm, Box Office (03000) 040 444         

  • Thu 11 Jul, Octagon, Yeovil. 7.30 pm, Box Office (01935) 422 884

  • Sat 13 Jul, Theatre Royal, Winchester 7.30 pm, Box Office (01962) 840440