Opera - L’Elisir d’Amore21, 22, 23 and 24 March 2020
“Love hurts in Tinder times”: A hotel manager with relationship anxiety, admired by her infatuated bellboy, and a charismatic security guard standing in his way. Will a teleshopping superstar’s Elixir of Love be Nemorino’s secret weapon? Come and visit Adina’s hotel to find out!
Written in merely two weeks, L’elisir d’amore (1832) belongs to the standard repertoire of practically every opera house. This self described ‘casual work’ by Gaetano Donizetti is a melodically rich, seamless mix of opera buffa and opera seria, highlighting the plight of relatively complex characters not too dissimilar to those of the commedia dell’arte.
We move from librettist Felice Romani’s 19th century Basque village to a modern-day Italian hotel, Adina’s. A young bellboy, Nemorino, is unconditionally in love with his boss. This love is, however, unrequited. Scarred by the experiences in her life, Adina chooses to pursue more casual adventures. Someone who is not afraid to try his own luck, however, is the head of security, Belcore. A furious and jealous Nemorino witnesses his not-so-subtle attempts at wooing the woman he feels he is destined to be with. Not all hope is lost though, teleshopping salesman extraordinaire, Dulcamara, has arrived to sell his Elixir of Love to unsuspecting customers. Nemorino is over the moon, now he will finally get what he wants, or will he?...
L’elisir has a fascinating array of honest and human characters, especially its two main roles. One loves, one doubts, and so one lives! What at first glance appears to be a comic opera, unravels itself into a tale of relationship fears, deception, temptation and the miraculous power of the placebo.
Did You Know?
The libretto was taken from an existing work, that of Eugèn Scribe for Auber’s Le philtre. The libretto at the time did not contain Nemorino’s romance ‘Una furtiva lagrima’, a request from Donizetti to his (then reluctant) librettist. Donizetti’s persistence resulted in one of the most famous tenor arias of all time…