THE ELIXIR OF LOVE
by Gaetano Donizetti • April 21, 24, 27 & 29, 2018
We will conclude our 2017-18 season with Donizetti’s L’elisir d’Amore - The Elixir Of Love, a comedy about a traveling medicine show huckster who claims to possess a love potion.
The story concerns a “little nobody” named Nemorino. Nemorino is smitten with the beautiful and wealthy Adina, who appears to be completely out of his league. His prospects are further diminished when the handsome and dashing Sergeant Belcore arrives.
But when Doctor Dulcamara rolls into town and sells Nemorino a bottle of his dubious Elixir of Love, things get very interesting. Why is Nemorino suddenly popular with every girl in the village? Will he win Adina's love before it's too late?
With a sunny 1950s-style production that's new to Pittsburgh, The Elixir of Love is full of charming romance and light-hearted fun.
Wigle Whiskey will be providing free samples of their very own Elixir of Love in the Benedum lobby during all four performances. Using Wigle’s own Rhubarb Liqueur as a base, this bright, lively concoction is loaded with vibrant flavor and personality – just like Dr. Dulcamara himself.
"A Fellini-esque vision of scooters, cappuccino machines and champagne fountains, set on a sun-washed hotel terrace overlooking the sea…”
Adina (Ekaterina Siurina) talks about the magic love potion in the story of Tristan & Isolde, wishing she knew the recipe.
Brash, dashing Belcore (Zachary Nelson) courts Adina (Ekaterina Siurina), while Nemorino (Dmitri Pittas) - who also is in love with Adina - tries to interfere.
Dulcamara (Paolo Pecchioli) boasts of all the miraculous properties which his elixir possesses.
Much to the dismay of Nemorino (Dmitri Pittas), Adina (Ekaterina Siurina) and Belcore (Zachary Nelson) celebrate their engagement.
Dulcamara (Paolo Pecchioli) and Adina (Ekaterina Siurina) entertain Adina and Belcore's wedding guests with a fun duet.
Giannetta (Shannon Jennings) and the rest of the village ladies compete for Nemorino's (Dimitri Pittas) affections, which proves to him that the love potion he drank is working.
Nemorino (Dimitri Pittas) noticed that Adina had shed 'a furtive tear', and takes it as evidence that she has fallen in love with him.
People line up to buy a bottle of Dulcamara's (Paolo Pecchioli) magic elixir from his assistant (Simon Nigam).
Zachary Nelson: Belcore
*Shannon Jennings: Giannetta
Paolo Pecchioli: Dr. Dulcamara
Simon Nigam: Dr. Dulcamara's assistant
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Christian Capocaccia
Stage Director - Daniel Slater
Set and Costume Designer - Robert Innes Hopkins
Lighting Designer - Simon Mills
Wig and Make-up Designer - James Geier
Choreographer - Timothy Claydon
Stage Manager - Cindy Knight
Asst Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Chorus Master - Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist - James Lesniak
Guest Pianist - Luis Hernandez
Asst Stage Director - Frances Rabalais*
Asst Lighting Designer - Todd Nonn
Asst Stage Manager - Emily Duffin
Asst Stage Manager - Kiera Bennett
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
Production owned by Opera North
Scene 1. Nemorino, whose name accurately describes him as a “little nobody,” is smitten with the wealthy Adina, but can’t inspire love in her heart. Nemorino sees Adina reading a book in the village square and wonders how a fool like him could possibly win her love. Everyone begs Adina to tell the story, so she reads the tale of Tristan, who bought a love potion from a magician in order to win the hard-hearted Isolde. If only they knew how to get the recipe! A drum roll signals the arrival of a platoon of soldiers headed by handsome Sergeant Belcore. Arrogantly likening himself to Paris wooing a goddess, Belcore immediately proposes to Adina, much to Nemorino’s dismay. But when Adina says she needs time to think it over, Nemorino seizes the moment and declares his undying love for her once again. Irritated, Adina declares that she is capricious and fickle—he should look for love elsewhere.
Scene 2. Dr. Dulcamara, a fast-talking quack, arrives and sings the praises of his amazing elixir, guaranteed to cure all diseases—and even chase away mice and bugs! Nemorino, who falls for the con like everybody else, asks if Dulcamara carries Isolde’s love potion. Dulcamara gives Nemorino a bottle of Bordeaux, warning him that it will only take effect after twenty-four hours (giving Dulcamara time to get away) and that he must keep it a secret. Nemorino drinks enough to get tipsy, so when Adina comes by he is so full of confidence that he pretends to ignore her. Aggravated to find her swain so impervious to her charms, she promises to marry Belcore in six days. Nemorino isn’t worried because the elixir will be in effect the next day. But Belcore receives orders to leave the village in the morning, so Adina agrees to marry him immediately. Now that Nemorino is really desperate, Adina enjoys his torment. She invites everyone to the marriage feast, and they all mock the dunce who thought he could defeat the dashing Belcore.
Scene 1. While they’re waiting for the notary to arrive at the wedding, Dr. Dulcamara entertains everyone with a comic song. Adina, however, hesitates to continue because Nemorino isn’t there—she wants to complete her revenge. After the company goes off for the wedding toast, Nemorino sneaks in and begs Dulcamara for help. Always obliging, he prescribes another dose, but Nemorino is broke. Belcore finds Nemorino alone and talks him into signing up—what a victory to enlist your own rival! Nemorino accepts, hoping the elixir will work before he leaves with the soldiers.
Scene 2. Rumor has it that Nemorino’s uncle has died, leaving him as heir to a fortune. All the girls flirt with Nemorino, who doesn’t know about the inheritance and thinks the potion is finally working. Adina is astonished at his popularity and realizes that she is jealous. When Dulcamara brags that it was his elixir that worked the miracle, Adina also learns that Nemorino has sold his freedom for her. She realizes that she is in love with him, and Nemorino is delighted to see her shed a tear on his behalf. Adina takes action, buying back the enlistment papers from Belcore and admitting to Nemorino that she loves him. When Dulcamara tells everyone about Nemorino’s inheritance, Dulcamara claims the credit—his elixir is so powerful, it can make rich men out of poor ones! As he leaves town in triumph, everyone wishes him well, except Belcore.
~Taken from Pittsburgh Opera's 2007 The Elixir of Love Study-Guide
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes, with one intermission
- Understand Every Word: The Elixir of Love is sung in Italian, but has English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at The Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Study Guide for The Elixir of Love
- Program for The Elixir of Love
Listen to Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn give a brief synopsis of The Elixir of Love featuring excerpts from the following audio clips from the Metropolitan Opera's 1990 production as featured on this Deutsche Grammophon recording with James Levine conducting MET Orchestra:
- Overature - MET Orchestra
- "Quanto è bella, quanto è cara" - sung by Luciano Pavarotti playing the role of Nemorino
- "Come paride vezzoso" - sung by Leo Nucci playing the role of Belcore
- "Udite, udite, o rustici" - sung by Enzo Dara playing the role of Doctor Dulcamara
- "Una furtiva lagrima" - sung by Nemorino (Luciano Pavarotti)
- "Prendi, per me sei libero” - sung by Kathleen Battle playing the role of Adina
- "Ei corregge ogni difetto" - sung by the cast
Click play below or download these excerpts for an offline treat!
- OperaWire: Pittsburgh Opera Concludes 2017-18 Season With L’Elisir D’Amore
- Pittsburgh Magazine: April: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh
- Trib Live: Entertainment Planner: April 12-25
- Trib Live: What Western PA Needs to Know This Week
- Pittsburgh in the Round: Pittsburgh Opera’s Season To Close with The Elixir of Love
- Trib Live: The Elixir of Love is a perfect 'starter opera'
- OperaWire: Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘Student Matinee’ To Bring 2,000+ Schoolchildren To Benedum
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Opera: On the sunny side with Donizetti's The Elixir of Love
- The Urban Twist: Come Listen To Ashley Fabian Sing Songs Of Amour in ‘Elixir Of Love’
- OperaWire: Top 5 Operas to See This Weekend – North America
- The Almanac: What's Happening: Week of April 18
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Review - Pittsburgh Opera's The Elixir of Love
- Pittsburgh in the Round: The Elixir of Love
- Wavy Alabaster: A Girl and Her First Opera: Pittsburgh Opera Presents Donizetti's The Elixir of Love
- The Incline: What to do this week in Pittsburgh: April 22-28, 2018
- The Almanac: What's Happening: Week of April 25
- WQED: Voice of the Arts Podcast for The Elixir of Love
- Burgh' Vivant: SHANNON JENNINGS – Soprano, Pittsburgh Opera
- The Urban Twist: How Pittsburgh Opera Education Program Isn’t Just Another Field Trip
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has implemented new security and bag policies, effective starting October 1, 2016, at the Benedum Center and their other venues.