Gaetano Donizetti himself described his ELIXIR OF LOVE, which premiered in 1832, as an “opera buffa”, yet there is little to laugh about in this supposedly comic opera. No different from his DON PASQUALE, composed a decade later, ELIXIR OF LOVE is a work whose mirth is rooted in gentle melancholy. Despite the happy end, the chance that things might have taken a turn for the worse is ever-present, as is the threat that the misunderstandings and coincidences that pepper the narrative of ELIXIR OF LOVE do not always turn out all right in real life.
The story recounted by Donizetti and his librettist Felice Romani is a simple one: Adina and Nemorino are in love, yet neither can pluck up the courage to confess their love for the other person. Not until he recalls a single tear in Adina's eye, the famous “furtiva lagrima”, does Nemorino realise that his love is requited, triggering one of the most famous tenor arias in the history of opera.
October 3rd & 6th, 2016
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