Opera & cast
Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
L’elisir d’amore (The elixir of love) is one of the best-loved 19th century operas. Because the opera is set in a restaurant, we couldn't think of a better place to stage it. There shall be serenading by the bar, suspicious dealings under the tables and many a lovers' tiff whilst plates pass through the air.
The singers shall sing in authentic Italian whilst English surtitles are projected to aid the audience's comprehension.
A young immigrant kitchen plunger, dishwasher and general doer of grimy jobs, Nemorino, is in love with his boss’s daughter, Adina, who spends more time flirting with customers than waiting tables, and reading about ‘Queen Isolde’s Elixir of Love’ in trashy magazines.
Adina’s much harder-working colleague, Giannette, meanwhile waits tables whilst chatting to her two college friends who pop in for coffee each afternoon. But this afternoon is different. A flashy military man, Sergeant Belcore, is in town and attempts to swoop the young Adina off her feet with his lyrical voice and noble military profession (although she suspects he’s really just part of the Territorial Army).
However, our kitchen plunger Nemorino happens upon some good luck, or so he thinks. In strolls ‘Doctor Dulcamara’, a man apparently qualified in curing any disease, often with the same remedy.
Whilst selling herbal concoctions and cheap non-prescription drugs to customers (all out of view of the authorities, of course), Nemorino asks the doctor if he is also the distiller of Queen Isolde’s ‘Elixir of Love’, that remedy he had so often heard Adina speak of which will make any women fall in love. Dulcamara prescribes a mysterious dark-red liquid which tastes remarkably similar to Bordeaux, and tells Nemorino to wait at least a day for the elixir to take effect.
Delighted, Nemorino sits back and laughs at Sergeant Belcore’s attempts to woo Adino, knowing that in a matter of hours she will in fact love no one but him. Adina, however, is insulted that her old admirer no longer seems to care and takes her revenge by agreeing to marry Sergeant Belcore that very afternoon.
Nemorino has no option but to obtain even more of Dulcamara’s ‘Elxir of Love’ to induce its effects before Adina and Belcore wed. Penniless and desperate, he tries anything to obtain more money, even contemplating selling his own freedom, just so that he can have one fine day with Adina, or a moment’s mutual love. But will the Elixir actually work or is he about to be cheated of his money, his freedom and his heart?
Starring in this professional production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The elixir of love) are:
Adina: Sophie Levi (soprano)
Nemorino: Lawrence Olsworth-Peter (tenor)
Sgt Belcore: Nick Beever (baritone)
Dr Dulcamara: Jake Kirner (bass)
Giannette: Colleen Nicoll (soprano)
Kate Harris (soprano) & Joanna Arnold (mezzo-soprano)
Director: Omar Shahryar
Musical Director: Mikhail Shilyaev
Producer: Jake Kirner