When to see it
Nemorino, a naive village boy, is besotted with Adina, a farm owner. She rejects his declarations of love. Fortunately, Doctor Dulcamara is on hand with a 'love potion' to help him win her heart.
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L'elisir d'amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas. It combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including the much-loved aria 'Una furtiva lagrima'. The opera’s premiere in Milan in 1832 was a triumph and secured Donizetti's place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day.
The Royal Opera's charming production is set in the sun-drenched countryside of 1950s Italy, complete with haystacks, Vespas and even a stray dog. It is injected with lively, visual humour, from Nemorino's tipsy clowning to Dulcamara's lumbering truck from which he sells his quack remedies. Donizetti deftly brings his characters alive with a sparkling score: Nemorino's love for Adina is expressed through lyrical arias; Adina’s animated, flamboyant style softens as her feelings towards Nemorino begin to change – and all the while Dulcamara endlessly chatters away with irrepressible self-belief.
News and features
16 July 2014
I due Foscari, Idomeneo, and L'elisir d'amore and others on Opera on 3.
31 March 2014
The Royal Ballet opens the Autumn Season with Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful Manon. Highlights for The Royal Opera include Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s dark political tragedy I due Foscari and - in a new collaboration with the Roundhouse - Monteverdi’s Orfeo.
31 March 2014
Live Cinema Season 2014/15 includes 7 operas and 4 ballets screened live in cinemas across the world.
16 November 2012
Animal actor Alfie tells all about taking to the Royal Opera House stage.
14 November 2012
Tweets about the return of Laurent Pelly's charming production.
7 November 2012
As Laurent Pelly’s well-loved production returns to Covent Garden, a guide to Donizetti’s sparkling comic opera.