Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love from the Royal Opera House

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

There's not a lot to be taken seriously The Elixir of Love, the comic romp by Donizetti. Unless, of course, you count the music. It's some of Donizetti's finest and it takes the opera beyond the world of farce to a place where simple confidence leads to life-changing revelations.

In this Laurent Pelly production from London's Royal Opera House, tenor Roberto Alagna stars as the lovesick Nemorino, alongside soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Adina, and baritone Ambrogio Maestri as Dr. Dulamara, the shady salesman whose dubious tonic gets the story rolling.


Conductor: Bruno Campanella

Nemorino: Roberto Alagna (tenor)

Adina: Aleksandra Kurzak (soprano) 

Dr. Dulcamara: Ambrogio Maestri (baritone)

Belcore: Fabio Capitanucci (baritone)

Giannetta: Susana Gaspar (soprano)

Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus

Below: Watch a preview of Roberto Alagna singing "Una furtiva lagrima"

Comments [13]

Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Dear Concetta, Don't let the jerks get you down. I wrote for many years for The Spotlight, which was published by Liberty Lobby. Because it was owned by Willis Carto, a well known holocaust denier , it got a reputation of being anti-Semitic. I was born Jewish, the son of an Orthodox Rabbi. During the time I wrote for The Spotlight I worked with Victor Marchetti, a high ranking former CIA Official and Mark Lane the author who focused on conspiracy theories. The main stream media called all who wrote for them anti Semitic even though Mark and I were Jewish. I converted to the Catholic faith fifteen years ago after retiring from Hill work to study music, and especially Cello.
I have been called a self hating Jew, and worse. I recall going to lunch with David Duke, a former Klan grand dragon when he was running for President, who i was interviewing at the time. When we finished lunch, Mr. Duke took my hand and said, " Charles, you are not bad for a Jew " I could have responded in many ways, I simply thanked him for his time and the interview and went on my way.
During my time with The Spotlight I traveled to Saudi Arabia, one of the few Jew's in country, Libya and dined with Kadaffy ( who by the way was a very nice person screwed by our President and his know nothing CIA.) and virtually commuted to Jordan and Syria as well as Israel.
As some who has been called every name in the book and not only lived through it but prospered personally by my contacts, I will once again quote my friend Victor Marchetti, "Don't let the jerks get you down." God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Oct. 30 2013 12:45 PM
concetta nardone

Mr. Fischbein, you are right about the weight having a negative impact. I remember seeing Renata Tebaldi years ago in Forza del Destino.She had some trouble moving around. This could also have been caused from a childhood bout with polio. She lost weight and I am sure life became easier for her to move around.
Best wishes
Mr. Bey, No, I am not shallow. I am earthy. Grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Vesuvian father (from one of the 18 towns in the red zone under Mt.Vesuvius) We were not la-dee-da people. Hardworking and HONEST. Father worked on the trolley tracks, mother in a sweat shop. I am a history expert, Shakespeare expert, speak three languages, can read scores, master chef, written two books (alas not published). Hardly shallow, earthy yes.
I am distressed that I have been driven to this tit for tat exchange. Poor form for BOTH of us.
Best wishes and learn how to cook. This will make you a better person.

Oct. 30 2013 11:04 AM
Concetta nardone

Mr. Bey, I do not think you know what quality is. As for warmth, no, most of time I am not warm and fuzzy. Too old for that and have seen too many horrible things in my lifetime. You are a shallow individual. I am warm to my family especially my sons who turned out alright. I am also warm to cats and dogs because St. Francis is watching. As for quality, should I ever have the misfortune to meet you, I will even be civil to you. Now how's that for quality. I am also sending you
Best wishes, so there and get a life.

Oct. 30 2013 09:58 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

BEY, please get back on your medication. And avoid personal attacks, it shows how little class you have. The purpose of this site is not to judge others, perhaps you envy 'boys bodies" that look eighteen, but that is not where my mind goes. Alaganas face in the above photo looked a bit distorted, so i made mention. I wonder, since you are focused on 18 year old male bodies if you were not one of the protesters at the Met seeking better treatment of Russian perverts.
You need my prayers, and those of many others out in cyberspace.
Please refrain from personnel smears, if your IQ were equal to your age you might have the self discipline to think before engaging in slander online.
As you may know Opera singers must live a very disciplined life and rapid weight change, either gaining or losing weight can have a profound effect on ones voice. Deborah Voight has spoken about this very topic after her weight control surgery, and the way her weight loss affected her breathing technique and voice.
Stay away from those 18 year old boys, you will be far better off.
Charles Fischbein

Oct. 29 2013 02:14 PM

haaha Concetta is the furthest thing from warmth and quality, Mr. Fischbein. I've read her dimwit posts too, they're shallow. And you're just ridiculous to compare Alagna's body to Pavarotti's, what on earth is wrong with you? Roberto's in great shape with a body an 18 yo. would envy. You probably never saw him up close. Now you both go listen to Donizetti more often, it'll do your souls good. You need it.

Oct. 29 2013 11:56 AM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Looks like Alagna has packed on a few pounds. Perhaps more engagements and harder work would allow him to slim down. Hate to see him go the way of Pavaratti in his later years. First the back goes, then the hips and knees and then the voice due to too many pain killers. God Speed, Chartles Fischbein

Oct. 28 2013 05:09 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Dear Bay, only a fool would expose himself to ridicule by posting what you did. I have read many of Concettas posts and they are insightful and show she is a person of warmth and quality.. Your post only goes to prove any person can have access to the internet regardless of whether or not they know what they are talking about. If your IQ were equal to your age you may have been able to think twice before posting such trash.
I have seen the opera four times, twice with Pavarotti, the impish way he approaches many segments of this gem and the audience reactions to it prove it to be a a funny and lighthearted Opera.
To think that the majority of women would be drawn romantically to someone simply because he has come in money speaks volumes of your attitude towards women. However if that is where your mind is I suggest you try and get a DVD of the Opera, Anna Nicole, it will fit right into your warped concept about male female relationships and using women simply as objects.
Anyone who thinks the story line of Elixir is indicative of womens thinking is short changing women throughout the world and is destined to be a lonely old person. Please act your age not your IQ, and don't post personal attacks, it just makes you nlook like a jerk. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 27 2013 06:30 PM
concetta nardone

Mr. Bey, only an intellectual midget would bring in personal attacks.We are discussing the opera here. Perhaps you cannot tell the difference. We are all entitled to our opinions about the OPERA. No, I do not watch Sex and the City. Perhaps you do.

Oct. 27 2013 07:51 AM

only an intellectual midget would call L'Elisir "silly". It's remarkably insightful about the true nature of the male/female relationship, and more current and relevant than any Sex and the City episode.

Yes, Pavarotti did say Nemorino was his favorite role, if he had to absolutely choose one. He had the perfect instrument for it too, and so did José Carreras. Di Stefano's unattractive, nasal sound didn't do that gorgeous music any favors.

Oct. 26 2013 06:24 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

An excellent production to listen to, however every time I hear "Elixir" I think of Pavarotti, no one could mold the combination of joy and a devilish attitude like he could when performing this gem.. Apparently he had said in several interviews that "Elixir" was his favorite Opera. I was blessed enough to see him live at the Met on several performances, and he left us far to soon. If only he would have taken better care of himself we would have been sharing his talents longer. I still feel sad every time I put on a CD with him performing, but nhe left us with a wealth of wonderful music. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Oct. 26 2013 04:52 PM
concetta nardone

Silly opera but lovely music. The Dulcamara was excellent. Really beautiful voice. Alagna's voice was much too light today. Did he deliberately whiten the voice because this is a comic opera. Nemorino is not really a light lyric tenor but more a lyrico spinto such as DeStefano.

Oct. 26 2013 03:37 PM
concetta nardone

CBC: Not doing too badly. Hope you are well. I like the music to the Elisir and listen to it but never could watch it. Really annoying spoiled brat. Alagna might do well in this one. Nice looking fella. He is a blue eyed Sicilian I think born in France. He has his good days.
Take care.

Oct. 26 2013 07:34 AM

CBC Hope r well. The Cov. Garden Ring was presented on the following dates: Rheingold-10/16/12, Walk, 10/20/12, Sieg, 10/21/12 & Gotter 10/24/12.

Oct. 26 2013 12:34 AM

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