The Elixir of Love – comic success story at the small stage

Opera på Skäret is to present The Elixir of Love, Donizetti’s greatest comic success, and one of the most-played comic operas on the world’s stages. There will be ten performances on the small stage (Lilla scenen), with five soloists and a chamber ensemble providing the music.
“The Elixir of Love is a wonderful and very funny piece of musical drama offering generous scope for great singing and equilibristics. A worthy piece to re-launch our small stage on the 15th anniversary of Opera på Skäret,” says Alexander Niclasson, Artistic Director.

The Elixir of Love is a romantic comedy in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti, considered to be one of the greatest bel canto composers. His greatest success, Lucía di Lammermoor, as directed by Sten Niclasson, enchanted critics and audiences alike at Opera på Skäret in 2012. The Elixir of Love, a classic Italian opera buffa, is one of Donizetti’s most played works, and, according to the Operabase database, currently the 14th most-frequently performed the opera in the world.

“The popularity of the opera is probably due to the combination of warmth and joy that the work conveys, in combination with Donizetti’s amazing music. Of course, it also includes some very well-known arias,” says Alexander Niclasson.

In the story, the legend of Tristan and Isolde, about which Wagner later wrote a whole opera, plays a not insignificant role. Poor peasant boy Nemorino is in love with the rich and well-mannered Adina, although his love is unrequited. Nemorino hears Adina read the legend of Tristan and Isolde for her employees. When a troop of soldiers arrives in the village, sergeant Belcore starts flirting with Adina, who responds somewhat to his approaches, driving Nemorino to despair. But then, travelling quack Dulcamara enters the village – and sells Nemorino a love potion …

The best-known arias are Cuanto è bella and Una furtiva lagrima, the star turns of the tenor role Nemorino, Come paride vezzoso by the baritone role Belcore and Udite, udite o rustici, Dulcamara’s bass aria.

The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’Amore) premièred at the Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan in 1832 and was immediately a huge success. The Swedish première was performed at the Stockholm Opera in 1840. The opera was most recently staged in Sweden in 2013 at the Göteborg Opera, in Swedish, and in 2011 at Folkoperan in Stockholm.

The Elixir of Love will be performed by international soloists in the original Italian, with surtitles in Swedish. The Elixir or Love will be performed ten times between 14 July and 9 August 2018.

The performance is two and a half hours long, including an intermission, and the tickets cost SEK 445-545.

The small stage has previously been the venue for the Swedish opera farce Kronofogdarne och slåtterölet (The Crown Bailiffs and the Hay Harvest Beer) which was performed in 2007 and returned by popular request in 2009. In recent years, it has been the venue for the introduction to opera held by the artistic leadership prior to each performance on the main stage.