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The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’amore) is an opera with music by Gaetano Donizetti and text by Felice Romani.
It’s a story that we all know well enough: the boy likes the girl, but circumstances conspire to keep them apart. In this case, the boy, Nemorino, is kept apart from Adina because they don’t fit together socially. She's popular and talented, he's a nerd pining after her. He hopes that the puzzle can be altered when he’s tempted by a magical potion to change the fate of their love affair. In the end, we find out that Nemorino and Adina can find love with each other without the potion, they just needed to be honest about their feelings towards one another.
The Elixir of love first premiered in Milan in 1832. Supposedly, Donizetti managed to write this spectacularly popular opera in only a few weeks!
Italian! Our director of this rendition is also Italian.
The Elixir of Love is light and considered comedy through music in the tradition of “Opera Buffa”. This genre used stock characters that most opera goers would have been familiar with, and that also translate quite well into a modern update. The original comedic stock characters were that of the soldier, the doctor, and the sassy maid.
With the update, the characters will be people that we recognize from television shows and movies about high school drama: Adina, the unattainable beauty; Gianetta, the edgy best friend; Nemorino, the bumbling unpopular nice guy; Belcore, the conceited bullying love interest; and Dulcamara, the disenfranchised burnout. And if you’ve been missing plaid and leather from the 80’s, this is the show for you.
Opera buffas were depictions of more base conflicts, and The Elixir of Love plays with feelings of love, jealousy, and confidence.
Keep an ear out for:
The tenor aria "Una furtiva lagrima"
The final line, "Si può morir! Si può morir d'amor" encapsulates the romantic desperation experienced by the main character, Nemorino-- “One could die! One could die of love!”
A film short of a fish lamenting, through the song, “Una furtiva lagrima”, his tragic journey from grocery store to pan. https://vimeo.com/33329117
By Lillian Snortland
Opera Omaha Weitz Fellow