Lelisir damore

opera buffa in two acts

music by Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours 40 minutes
1 act
1 h 10 min
interval 30 min
2 act
60 min
for viewers over 12 years old
performed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)

Even when the prima donna is German, the tenor stammers, and the basso buffo bleats like a goat, a masterpiece can be born, and thats how Gaetano Donizettis Lelisir damore first saw the light of the day in 1832. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribes libretto for Daniel Aubers Le philtre (1831). Shy and poor Nemorino has no chance with popular and rich Adina. Especially now that dashing officer Belcore arrived in town! Things change, however, when Dulcamara, with his magic potion, manages to settle all the problems.

Notwithstanding the hurry, the opera turned out wonderfully: the amusing storyline and light melodies created a work that has long been beloved of audiences.

Recommended for family viewing

Act I

Peasants of an Italian village are having rest after the farm work. Adina, a pretty country belle, is sitting aside reading a book. The book tells the story of how Tristan won the heart of Isolde by drinking a magic love potion. A young farmer Nemorino, desperately in love with Adina, is keeping an eye on her.
A regiment of soldiers arrives led by the pompous Sergeant Belcore. To Nemorino’s horror, Belcore makes a proposal to Adina. The coquette does not know whom to choose, as her heart is silent.
A colorful wagon comes to the village — that is Dr Dulcamara, a peripatetic quack, selling different potions and arcana. Nemorino purchases a bottle allegedly containing “the elixir of love,” ordinary wine in reality. Eager to try it, Nemorino swallows the magic potion. The effect shows at once. Half-drunk, he flirts with girls making Adina jealous.
Adina, being piqued, declares she will marry Belcore.

Act II

Nemorino, in despair seeking Adina’s love, wants to buy another bottle of the elixir but he is short of money. Belcore persuades him to join the army and receive a volunteer bonus. Now Nemorino is able to get the magic elixir.
Gianetta brings stunning news: Nemorino’s uncle has died, leaving him the sole heir. Now the young peasant is a desirable date mate. All the girls surround Nemorino with attention. Unaware of the news, he believes the elixir is finally taking effect. Adina is jealous but when she learns that Nemorino has sold his freedom to win her, she is deeply moved and realizes she loves him. She buys back his enlistment papers and finally admits her love. The lovers are happy.
Dulcamara boasts about the power of his elixir and promises to come back with a new stock of magic potions. Belcore is sure he will find another fiancée and leaves the village. The peasants see the sergeant and his soldiers off.

Premiere of the production: 27 May 2008

Libretto by Felice Romani based on the French libretto by Eugène Scribe

  • Stage DirectorFabio Sparvoli
  • Stage DesignerMauro Carosi
  • Costume DesignerOdette Nicoletti
  • Lighting DesignerVinicio Cheli
  • Assistant to Stage DirectorBarbara Di Lieto
  • Assistant to Costume DesignerLuigi Benedetti
  • Musical Director of the productionDaniele Rustioni
  • Principal PianistMarc Vayner
  • Chorus MastersAlexey Dmitriev, Sergey Tsyplenkov
  • DirectorVyacheslav Kalyuzhny
  • Consultant in the Italian languageDaria Mitrofanova

Sets and costumes produced at the Vozrozhdenie Theatrical Design Studios

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