When to see it
These events are part of the Spring 2017 season.
Village boy Nemorino is besotted with the wealthy Adina. She rejects his declarations of love – but fortunately the quack Doctor Dulcamara is on hand with a ‘love potion’ to help him win her heart.
Adina seems to remain immune to Dulcamara’s potion (nothing more magical than red wine) and agrees to marry the arrogant Sergeant Belcore. Luckily, at the last moment she realizes she really does love Nemorino. All rejoice – Dulcamara most of all, as he celebrates his potion’s proven power.
L’elisir d’amore is one of the most loved of all Donizetti’s operas. It combines touching romance and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including Nemorino’s enchanting 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. 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, irrepressible showman that he is, endlessly chatters away.
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.
News and features
20 April 2017
Tenor replaces Rolando Villazón in the role of Nemorino for upcoming performances on 27, 30 May; 3, 6 June.
30 January 2017
From devils and rogues, to lovers and rulers – who says tenors have to have all the fun?
26 November 2014
What did you think of the live cinema relay of Laurent Pelly's Royal Opera production of Donizetti's comedy?
26 November 2014
Backstage films from the live relay of L'elisir d'amore, including Bryn Terfel on why it may be the best opera ever written.
19 November 2014
What did you think of Laurent Pelly's production of Donizetti's comedy?
14 November 2014
Donizetti's loveable rogue Dulcamara is a cad and a swindler, but armed with a host of great tunes and the gift of the gab, he's irresistible.