Operatic love potions and sublime arias

OTC to stage Donizetti's The Elixir Of Love

A scene from Opera Theatre Company's production of The Elixir Of Love. Photo:- Patrick Redmond.

A scene from Opera Theatre Company's production of The Elixir Of Love. Photo:- Patrick Redmond.

WHEN A man loves a woman, but he has little hope of winning her heart and very little money in his pocket, he sometimes has to resort to desperate measures.

This is the idea driving L’elisir d’Amore, one of the great Italian operas, which is being revived in an English language version and a modern day setting by Opera Theatre Company.

Written by Gaetano Donizetti in the 1830s, L’elisir d’Amore tells the story of Nemorino, a poor peasant. He is in love with Adina, a beautiful landowner, who torments him with her indifference. When Nemorino hears Adina reading to her workers the story of Tristan and Isolde, he is convinced that a magic potion will help him to gain her love. Then along comes quack doctor Dulcamara selling his bottled cure-all to the townspeople.

Opera Theatre Company will stage Donizetti's opera as The Elixir Of Love, which director Oliver Mears (NI Opera ) has relocated to a modern university, where Adina is a lecturer and Nemorino a nerdy student who is conned by fraudster Dr Dulcamara to buy some fake love potion, pledging himself to the army in order to pay for it.

A rom-com opera classic, The Elixir Of Love is celebrated for its spellbinding music and sublime arias, especially 'Una Furtive Lagrima'.

The cast features Anthony Flaum (Nemorino ), Anna Patalong (Adina ), Irish soprano Sarah Reddin (Giannetta ), OTC stalwart John Molloy (Dulcamara ), and James McOran Campbell (Belcore ). OTC artistic director Fergus Shiel conducts the 12-member orchestra and professional chorus. Design is by Annemarie Woods, with costumes by Ilona Karas and lighting by Kevin Treacy.

The production has already met with critical acclaim. Opera Now said: “Mear’s fast moving, inventive, and sensitive staging was full of good things. This was among the most unaffectedly heart warming and well thought out Elisirs you could hope for.”

The Elixir Of Love comes to the Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday December 9 at 8pm. Tickets are available through 091 – 569777 or www.tht.ie

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