To start its first season after the completion of its mammoth Verdi Cycle, the Sarasota opera is turning to another 19th-century Italian master.
Gaetano Donizetti doesn’t have quite the name recognition of Giuseppe Verdi — whose works dominated the Sarasota Opera seasons for almost three decades — but he was almost supernaturally prolific, writing about 80 operas, and many of his best are frequently performed today. He’s perhaps best known for his comic operas, which include “L’elisir d’amore” (“Elizir of Love”) and “Don Pasquale.”
It’s “Don Pasquale” that the Sarasota Opera will stage beginning Friday. It runs through Nov. 13, with four evening performances and two matinees.
The story has to do with Don Pasquale and his nephew Ernesto. Don Pasquale wants to marry a young woman and produce an heir. But losing the inheritance would prevent Ernesto and his beloved Norina from being happy together. That’s when the clever Dr. Malatesta helps with a plan that will save the day, bringing the two young lovers and Don Pasquale all together into one happy family.
The libretto comes from an Italian poet named Giovanni Ruffini, who never did much else of note, and was so annoyed by Donizetti’s demands that he refused to allow his name to be mentioned in the program for the premiere in 1843.
As with all Sarasota Opera productions, “Don Pasquale” will be performed in the original language, with English translations projected above the stage.
Details: Through Oct. 28-Nov. 13, Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 2, 7 and 10; 1:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and Nov. 13 March 3, 22 and 28. $19-$125. 941-328-1300, sarasotaopera.org.