Donizetti's The Elixir of Love

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Donizetti's enchanting comedy L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love) contains ravishing arias, delightful duets, ensembles and choruses. The Met revives John Copley’s 1991 staging, in its last go-around before it is replaced next fall with a new production by Bartlett Sher.

Atypical of operas from the Romantic era, the hero of Donizetti's romp is a simple country lad, Nemorino (tenor Juan Diego Flórez), who pines for a wealthy landowner, Adina (soprano Diana Damrau). The fun begins when Nemorino buys a phony "elixir of love" from the quack, Dr. Dulcamara (baritone Alessandro Corbelli), hoping that it will help him win Adina's heart away from his nemesis, Sergeant Belcore (baritone Mariusz Kwiecien).


Conductor: Donato Renzetti
Adina: Diana Damrau
Nemorino: Juan Diego Flórez
Belcore: Mariusz Kwiecien
Dulcamara: Alessandro Corbelli

Comments [18]

Richard Abt from Meadowbrook, PA

I was one of two people who yelled "encore" as the applause and "bravos" for "Una Furtiva Lagrima" were dying down. I have been going to the Met rergularly for 40 years, but had never been there when an encore was performed. But I knew that Florez had done it in "Fille du Regiment" at La Scala and again at the Met a fwe years ago. So I felt emboldened to yell for one (from my seat in the fifth row) after his beautiful rendition of the aria. I was surprised and delighted, along with the rest of the audience, when he did it. As I was leaving after the performance, several people nearby thanked me!

Apr. 03 2012 04:46 PM
frank tuerkheimer

The encore in L'Elisir D'Amore was wonderful but not as rare at the Met as some of the comments suggest. A few years ago, perhaps five, James Levine did an encore of the Song of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco. Memorable as well!

Apr. 02 2012 10:38 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha,l NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

We are indeed most fortunate to have a JUAN DIEGO FLOREZ singing the bel canto roles at the Met.
Besides his remarkable voice and vocal technique, his natural charm and good humor enhance the enjoyableness of his roles. In Caruso's days, encores were prevalent for two reasons. One, the performer was outstanding. Two, there was no radio or TV and records were only of limited repertoire representation, almost exclusively the arias of the most popular operas and not that many OTHER performers were recorded outside of CARUSO. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. At my website,, one may download free 37 complete selections from the over one hundred I have sung in four three hour long solo concerts in the main hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, of Carnegie Hall. They are all LIVE performances.

Apr. 01 2012 09:34 AM

I was half listening today, but when Una Fortiva came on my full attention was there....and then ENCORE!!! I was smiling the rest of the afternoon.....

Mar. 31 2012 10:21 PM
June Salzman from Fair Lawn, NJ

Marvelous opera today! I've never heard an encore before in my many years of attending or listening to live performances. Years ago I took my then 12 year old daughter to see this wonderful opera because I wanted for her to see and to hear Pavaratti do the part. I don't know what the tenor said to the audience after the encore but I'm certain that it was sweet.
I only, once before, saw a tenor break character to speak to the audience.
I believe that happens often in Europe. It was during a performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor." His first name was Alred or Alfredo. I hope that today's performance becomes available on DVD. What a great afternoon.

Mar. 31 2012 04:17 PM
Van Labriola from New York City

Listing to todays opera brought back memories of audience reactions. It's rare to hear the artist repeat an aria. I think this is what opera is all about and why we enjoy it so much. It's so good for the soul and the heart.

Mar. 31 2012 04:16 PM

Great broadcast, and Florez encored Una furtiva, I don't even remember Pavarotti doing that, perhaps Caruso in the 1910's. This is a gem of a score, there's not a weak number in it.

It's unfortunate that the pretension and arrogance of some people keep them from enjoying a masterpiece. They want something more "profound", while there's very little in opera more profound and current than Donizetti's insight into men, women and their relationships as in L'Elisir D'Amore. True genius is always simple, always refreshingly crystal clear. And then those gorgeous, inspiring melodies!

Mar. 31 2012 04:09 PM
Leslie from Williamsport area, PA

LOVE. Thank you so much WQXR!

Mar. 31 2012 04:01 PM
EA from LI

It sounded like someone thought he should sing it yet *again,* but he demurred saying "Ms. Damrau is waiting over there," or words to that effect. Ya gotta love it! Wonderful to be listening live.

Mar. 31 2012 03:56 PM
The Marschallin from New York

When I heard "Encore!" I thought: not very likely...but then, it was! How sweet is that? Flores'voice always makes me smile, and this time with a tear! But what did he say after the encore? I could not distinguish it!

Mar. 31 2012 03:50 PM
JanetinNYC from Manhattan

Can't believe an encore of una furtiva lagrima!

Mar. 31 2012 03:42 PM
EA from LI

ENCORE! Bliss........ :)

Mar. 31 2012 03:39 PM
EA from LI

So happy to be able to enjoy this live today--thank you WQXR! Folks at the Met, why was there no HD broadcast? I too will look forward to a DVD, to appreciate in every dimension what I am sure are delightful performances. But no complaints right now!

Mar. 31 2012 02:02 PM
larry eisenberg from new york city

Juan Diego's lovely voice, once more
In bel canto, which I adore,
This Donizetti joy
May grim grouches annoy,
Despite its fine melodic score.

Mar. 31 2012 01:53 PM
harmon mccraw from Brooklyn, N.Y.

One of my favorites. Glad to be able to hear Juan Diego sing this. I DO hope it comes out on DVD!

Mar. 31 2012 01:51 PM
JanetinNYC from Manhattan

Love this opera! Florez and Damrau are wonderful - I am listening with friends today and we are enjoying this broadcast so much

Mar. 31 2012 01:42 PM

Caro Beduzza Concetta (CBC), Again, this one is not for me. But I can't wait for Otello & we can go at it over Hampson - so you have to stay around. All my best. Can't wait for the Ring so I can start wars. Stay well & take good care of yourself.

Mar. 31 2012 05:12 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Beduzza Cavanaugh,
Hope you are well. I will be listening to this even though it is not one of my favorites. But it is pleasant, with some nice melodies. Cannot always listen to deep, profound operas. Last weeks Macbeth was great. Hampson was very fine indeed and will be back next year to do Iago. Hope I'll be around to hear him.
Best wishes

Mar. 30 2012 05:27 PM

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