The Don Pasquale Opera Bracelet

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Old Don Pasquale thinks he is winning at life's game! Disapproving of his nephew Ernesto's choice of wife, Norina. He decides to disinherit Ernesto, marry a young girl and create new heirs.

Crafty Dr. Malatesta comes up with a plan to teach Pasquale that this is NOT a good idea and get Ernesto and Norina together in the end (spoilers). I love this opera- it's one of those that makes you smile for days and whenever you think about it.

Each bead and charm of the Don Pasquale Opera Bracelet represents a character or moment from Donizetti's work. Some of the most important beads and charms are described below and you can see all of the symbolic descriptions on the spiral chart photo above or to the left.  Also, a story chart explaining the symbolism of the beads and charms accompanies every bracelet. Click here to see the chart.

  • Ernesto is a blue faceted bead and Norina is a gold color representing the meaning of her name: bright.
  • Old Pasquale is a silver grey bead to indicate age/grey hair; a large dark bi-cone is his disapproval of Ernesto’s fiancé. Gold rings represent his plan to marry and create new heirs.
  • Dr. Malatesta, who is the only one in the opera to really see and know everything that is going on, is represented by a white cats eye. His “sister” Sofronia is a smaller white cat’s eye. A silver heart indicates his thought to have “Sofronia” marry Pasquale.
  • Norina’s aria, in which she reveals her knowledge of the ways of men and love (So anch'io la virtù magica), is represented by a hand holding a heart charm. A pink heart is the romantic novel she is reading.
  • Maltesta’s plot is indicated by a blue oval cloisonné. Norina’s role, to become more wife than Pasquale can handle, is a larger cloisonné. When Ernesto see that “something is up” this is represented by a smaller round cloisonné bead.
  • The wedding is represented by a marriage license charm. Sofronia’s expensive demands are golden crystals. Pasquale’s stressed heart is a heart shaped crackle bead.
  • A black oval symbolizes Pasquale’s dismay at the bills run up by Sofronia. Gold and clear crystals represent the riches and diamonds she has purchased. A hand charm indicates the argument in which Pasquale is slapped; A flat crackled grey bead is his humiliation.
  • I chose a leaf and flower bead to indicate Pasquale’s garden; a love note charm is the tryst set up between “Sofronia” and Ernesto. A large dark bead is Pasquale’s outrage. The servants, who see all, are small brown cat’s eye beads, while I used a large millefiore bead to indicate the household chaos going on.
  • Red and dark heart shape beads represent the patter duet in which both Pasquale and Malatesta lay out their plans.
  • An opalescent bead with deep blue beads is the romantic moonlit night. The large flowered heart charm is the love duet: Tornami a dir che m'ami – "Tell me once more that you love me"
  • A white cat’s eye heart symbolizes Pasquale’s forgiveness when the whole plot is revealed to him. A large red heart bead and dove charm celebrates Norina and Ernesto’s marriage!
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