Directed by Thomas Potter
Truly “classic” art is that which endures the ages and speaks to the hearts of all who come in contact with it. Donizetti’s light-hearted comic opera, L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), makes that list – as evidenced by the myriad settings and time periods in which it has been presented. Elixir tells the story of a young, poor man [Nemorino] who tries to win the heart of a beautiful wealthy woman [Adina]. Add to the mix a blustering self-absorbed officer [Belcore] and a travelling quack doctor [Dr. Dulcamara] who claims to sell potions that cure everything from psoriasis and old age to diabetes and – well, you name it! – and you have the principal cast of one of the most beloved and melodic operas ever written.
Elixir combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including one of the most beautiful and recognizable arias in all of opera, “Una furtiva lagrima”. Come see UCF Opera’s production, set at a golf course and clubhouse – it could be right here in Florida! There are two performances of this opera, April 14 and 16.
Adina, a wealthy and capricious land-owner: Romana Saintil
Nemorino, a young, simple man in love with Adina: John Murray
Belcore, Sergeant of a visiting garrison: Justin Morrison
Doctor Dulcamara, a travelling self-proclaimed physician: Juan Tomas Martinez
Giannetta, Adina’s friend: Maggie Gifford
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A beautiful landowner, Adina, is reading a book about “Tristan and Isolde” to some friends. In that story, Tristan takes an “elixir of love”, and Isolde falls passionately in love with him. Nemorino, a poor young man in love with Adina, listens, and wishes he could find this magic potion.
Sergeant Belcore appears, and attempts to seduce Adina. Nemorino is of course frustrated by the appearance of a masculine rival.
Next, a “quack” purveyor of remedies, Dr. Dulcamara, arrives in the town. He advertises a potion capable of curing anything. Nemorino asks him if he has the elixir of love that Tristan took. He sells Nemorino a bottle of cheap wine, and explains to him, “This elixir will have an effect on you, tomorrow.” [Dulcamara intends to leave town by nightfall.]
Nemorino tells Adina that she will fall in love with him the next day. Adina gets angry and declares she is going to marry Sergeant Belcore, this very day. Nemorino begs her to wait till the next day. But Adina ignores him.
Nemorino attempts to buy another bottle of elixir, but doesn’t have enough money – so he decides to sign up for the army, in order to get the sign-up money they offer.
Unbeknownst to Nemorino, a rich uncle has died and left him a fortune. When the townspeople find out, however, he becomes very popular. Nemorino, of course, assumes this is the elixir working.
Adina learns about Nemorino’s plan from Dulcamara. After learning that Nemorino loves her so much that he is willing to risk his life by entering the army, she is moved to tears. Nemorino notices her tears, and sings the most famous aria from the opera “Una furtive lagrima”.
In the end, Adina pays back Nemorino’s sign-up money, and declares his love for him. Dulcamara’s elixir has worked!