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L'elisir d'amore (Mikhailovsky Theatre, opera)

L'elisir d'amore (Mikhailovsky Theatre, opera)

Genre: Opera Age restriction: 12+ Length: 2 hours 40 minutes



Libretto by Felice Romani based on the French libretto by Eugène Scribe

Stage Director: Fabio Sparvoli

Stage Designer: Mauro Carosi

Costume Designer: Odette Nicoletti

Lighting Designer: Vinicio Cheli

Assistant to Stage Director: Barbara Di Lieto

Assistant to Costume Designer: Luigi Benedetti

Musical Director of the production: Daniele Rustioni

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Chorus: Vladimir Stolpovskikh

Principal Pianist: Marc Vayner

Chorus Masters: Alexey Dmitriev, Sergey Tsyplenkov

Director: Vyacheslav Kalyuzhny

Consultant in the Italian language: Daria Mitrofanova

Surtitles: Margarita Kunitsyna-Tankevich

Stage Manager: Olga Kokh

Sets and costumes produced at the Vozrozhdenie Theatrical Design Studios

Premiere of the production: 27 May 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.

Recommended for family viewing

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 playbill

This show has no active performances now!


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