MET Opera: L’Elisir d’Amore

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Friday, 4 May, 6:00pm – ONE ONLY
In Italian with subtitles

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.


Ms. Yende sang beautifully from the start, gaining warmth and depth as nonchalance and flirtatiousness developed into love.
New York Times

Polenzani took the audience on an intoxicating journey.
Opera Wire

The story centres on naïve Nemorino, who is besotted with the beautiful bar owner Adina. However, she torments him with her indifference and attaches herself instead to the experienced charmer Belcore. After hearing about the legend of Tristan and Isolde, Nemorino, in desperation, wonders if a love potion may be the answer to his prayers. He seeks the help of the traveling quack Dr. Dulcamara, who gives him ‘The Elixir of Love’. Is this the reason for Nemorino’s sudden popularity with every girl in the village? Will he gain Adina’s love before it’s too late?

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.

L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic comedy film today—the joy is in the journey, and Gaetano Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.

USA 2017, 159 min
(includes one 30 min intermission)
Live performance opera
Conductor: Domingo Hindoyan
Vocal cast: Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano & Ildebrando D’Arcangelo

The Metropolitan Opera changed the face of theatergoing nearly a decade ago with high-definition simulcasts in movie theaters using a technology associated more with rock concerts and boxing matches than opera. We are very lucky at Arthur’s to be able to offer this sensational bit of culture, art and entertainment to you.

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