About The Opera: L’elisir d’Amore
The Capitol is a proud presenter of MET Opera in HD via Cineplex.
• 12:55pm Opera coverage begins
• Please call for Opera packages: Single Opera ticket: $27 Purchase 2-5 Operas at the same time: $26 each, Purchase 6-9 Operas at the same time: $25 each
Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met with her first Adina opposite Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing “Una furtiva lagrima.” A country lad buys a love potion from a quack doctor, gets drunk on it, plays hard to get, and wins his girl. Bartlett Sher’s production is charming, with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.
Introduction and Opera Talk by Mary Lee starting at 12:15.
Production a gift of The Monteforte Foundation, in honor of Wim Kooyker
Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) composed about 75 operas in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Most of his works disappeared from the public eye after his death, but critical and popular opinion of his huge opus has grown considerably over the past 50 years. Felice Romani (1788–1865) was the official librettist of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and worked with Donizetti on several other operas.
PRODUCTION: Bartlett Sher
SET DESIGNER: Michael Yeargan
COSTUME DESIGNER: Catherine Zuber
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Jennifer Tipton
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.
What separates L’Elisir d’Amore from dozens of charming comedies composed around the same time is not only the superiority of its hit numbers, but the overall consistency of its music. It represents the best of the bel canto tradition that reigned in Italian opera in the early 19th century—from funny patter songs to rich ensembles to wrenching melody in the solos, most notably the tenor’s showstopping aria “Una furtiva lagrima” in Act II. Its variations between major and minor keys in the climaxes are one of opera’s savviest depictions of a character’s dawning consciousness.