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L'elisir D'amore

Donizetti's Elixir of Love

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Opera meant to tickle

  • Jun 8, 2010
I love most operas, even when the tenors die in the end, but for me there's nothing better than the amusing frolicking wit of Gaetano Donizetti in his charming composition L'Elisir D'Amore. What better setting than an old winery in Italy where the daughter of the proprietor possesses the mind and heart of a simple country boy, Nemorino.

My favorite was the 1981 production with Luciano Pavarotti and Judith Blegen playing the leads. It's a great opera for those just dipping their toes into opera because it's so light-hearted, and it's fun to watch the poor country boy (Pavarotti) believing with all his heart that very soon the beautiful Adina will fall in love with him because of the magical love potion he has bought from Dr. Dulcamara. 

Of course, in the end, after the lovesick Nemorino is tortured by his unrequited love, Adina declares her love. Yes, it sounds sappy, but it's so fun that my seven-year-old son loved it and watched it again and again throughout his life (he's 21 now) and still looks for the aria Una Furtiva Lagrima (everyone's favorite in that opera).

I think that had I not discovered this beautiful production, my children (all grown now) would never have come to appreciate how much fun a night at the opera can be.

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June 12, 2010
Sounds like great fun, JuneAnn! I've not hear of this but from your review, it certainly is appealing! I'd have to check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!
June 08, 2010
Great job on the review.
June 08, 2010
Thanks! What's your favorite opera?
June 08, 2010
You may well call me a Philistine for this but my favourite opera is actually operetta ... I swear I could watch GIlbert and Sullivan's entire repertoire at a single sitting but my favourite has to be "The Gondoliers"!
June 08, 2010
Not at all Philistine; G&S have such happy ditties that always put me in a good mood!
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I've always loved to read, mostly histories and biographies, but I've read lots of Hemingway and Austen. I like to read biographies of past giants in the publishing world, and, though it's … more
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L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) is an opera by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. It is a melodramma giocoso in two acts. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe's libretto for Daniel-François-Esprit Auber's Le philtre (1831).

L'elisir d'amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas, and there are a number of recordings. It appears as number 20 onOpera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.[1] It contains the popular aria "Una furtiva lagrima," one of the most famous and often-excerpted arias in all of opera.

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