Donizetti?s Don Pasquale represents the high point of the Italian buffa tradition, a sparkling comedy using characters from commedia dell?arte in ways that are entertaining, witty and playful. It was the work selected by the Vienna State Opera for its 1977 tour through Austria. Starring famous singers like the bass Oskar Czerwenka, the great lyric tenor Luigi Alva and, on the cusp of international fame, Edita Gruberova (soon to become the ?queen of bel canto?) ? this filmed performance, in colour and sung in German, showcases an outstanding ensemble at the height of its powers.