MET Opera: L'Elisir D'Amore

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L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic comedy film today—the joy is in the journey, and Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.

The poor country boy Nemorino is in love with Adina, a confident landowner, but she is way out of his league—financially and otherwise. But when he buys a “love potion” from a travelling quack, the results are rather more than he bargained for. Charmingly staged by Bartlett Sher, Donizetti’s beloved masterpiece combines deft comic timing with touching emotional depth. The production stars Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his moving “Una furtiva lagrima.” Rising South African soprano Pretty Yende is the spirited Adina, Davide Luciano makes his Met debut as the arrogant soldier Belcore, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo is the potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.

The opera is set in a small village in rural Italy. Some early editions indicate a location in Basque country. The important fact is that it’s a place where everyone knows everyone and where traveling salesmen provide a major form of public entertainment. The Met’s production sets the action in 1836, when the Risorgimento, the movement for Italian independence, was beginning to gather momentum.

Enjoy a pre-show supper for £8.50. Please book 48 hours in advance. Italian Lamb, Tomato & Lentil Stew Provencal Beef Stew Vegetable Lasagne

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