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Libretto: Felice Romani
Stage Director: Fabio Sparvoli
Set Designer: Mauro Carosi
Costume Designer: Odette Nicoletti
Lighting Designer: Vinicio Cheli
Assistant Stage Director: Barbara Di Lieto
Associate Costume Designer: Luigi Benedetti
Assistants to the Stage Director: Olga Chichilanova, Sergey Shepelyov
Musical Director of the production: Daniele Rustioni
Adina — Natalia Mironova
Nemorino — Dmitry Karpov
Belcore — Boris Pinkhasovich
Dulcamara — Yury Monchak
Giannetta — Svetlana Moskalenko
Conductor — Mikhail Tatarnikov
Premiere of the production: May 27, 2008
Even when the prima donna is German, the tenor stammers, and the basso buffo bleats like a goat, a masterpiece can be born, and that’s how Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore first saw the light of the day in 1832. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Daniel Auber’s Le philtre (1831). Shy and poor Nemorino has no chance with popular and rich Adina. Especially now that dashing officer Belcore arrived in town! Things change, however, when Dulcamara, with his magic potion, manages to settle all the problems.
Notwithstanding the hurry, the opera turned out wonderfully: the amusing storyline and light melodies created a work that has long been beloved of audiences.
Peasants of an Italian village are having rest after the farm work. Adina, a pretty country belle, is sitting aside reading a book. The book tells the story of Tristan and Isolde and a wonderful elixir that brings the heart into obsessive passion. A young farmer Nemorino, desperately in love with Adina, is keeping an eye on her.
Belcore, a recruiting sergeant, arrives in the village at the head of a regiment of soldiers. To Nemorino’s horror, Belcore makes a proposal to Adina. The coquette doesn’t know who to choose, as her heart seems to be silent.
A colorful wagon has come to the village — that is Dr Dulcamara, a peripatetic quack, selling different potions and arcana. Nemorino purchases a bottle allegedly containing “the elixir of love”, ordinary wine in reality. Eager to give it a try, Nemorino swallows the magic potion. The effect shows at once. Half-drunk, he flirts with girls making Adina jealous.
Adina, being piqued, declares she will marry Belcore. Nemorino, in despair, seeking Adina’s love wants to buy another bottle of the elixir but he’s short of money. Belcore enlists him in the army and thus Nemorino secures the necessary money. Now he’s able to get the magic elixir.
Gianetta brings stunning news: Nemorino’s uncle has died, leaving him sole heir. Now the young peasant is a desirable date mate. All the girls surround Nemorino with attention, which he thinks is due to the elixir. Its efficacy has been proved — everybody loves him. Adina is jealous but when she learns that Nemorino has sold his freedom to win her, she is deeply moved and realizes she loves him. She buys back his enlistment papers and finally admits her love. The lovers are happy. Dulcamara hasn’t expected such efficacy of his elixir and such fame and promises to come back with new stock of magic potions. Belcore is sure he’ll find another fiancée and leaves the village. The peasants see the sergeant and his soldiers off.
Mikhailovsky (ex. Mussorgsky) Theatre