Il Pigmalione, the first theatrical attempt of a teenaged Donizetti, is something in between a school test and a visiting card to the operatic world. Donizetti was clearly a quick composer from the very beginning of his career. Il Pigmalione is an ambitious opera even though it is rather short and with limited staging demands involving just two voices and a medium-sized orchestra. Never performed during Donizetti's life, Il Pigmalione was staged for the first time in 1960. Relatively luckier, Rita had been performed at the Opéra-Comique of Paris one hundred years earlier, after almost 20 years from it's completion and 12 years after the composer's death. Donizetti completed it in 1841. The score is divided into 8 numbers, symmetrically distributed to three characters. The short orchestra prelude introduces the title role: the variety of movements in this first number reflects the strong and fickle personality of Rita, almost a draft for the future Norina in Don Pasquale.