A whimsical romantic comedy, Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Elixer of Love” is the story of Nemorino, who is completely smitten by the beautiful Adina. Adina fails to return the sentiment, and when she seems poised on the brink of marrying the narcissistic Sgt. Belcore, Nemorino seeks the aid of the wily Dulcamara, a “doctor” who claims to sell potions for every ill, though his “elixir of love” may not be what it appears. The opera is being performed this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8 pm in the Lang Music Building Lobby.
The cast, chorus, and orchestra do a phenomenal job in performing Donizetti’s music, their energy and attention are marvelous to listen to and the performances of Tamara Ryan ’06 as the clever Adina, alum Allen Pinkney, Jr. as the lovable protagonist Nemorino, John Andrews Fernandez as the hilariously self-absorbed Belcore, and Scott Long ’06 as the delightful charlatan Dulcamara are a joy to behold. The coquettish Giannetta is double cast, portrayed by Miriam Rosenfeld ’06 and Tiffany Pao ’06 on alternating nights. Alumna Liza Clark’s dizzying choreography highlights the opera.
The opera is staged in English and the setting has been updated to the Italian market in South Philadelphia during the 1950’s. The Lobby space has been transformed to reflect this setting; lighting by Andrew Merkel and the richly colored costume choices of Laila Swanson similarly complement. Especially ingenious is the production’s use of space, staged in the Lang Music Building Lobby, the movement of the performers makes use of the entire lobby incorporating the audience in the action of the opera.
The opera is directed by voice teacher Julian Rodescu, Andrew Hauze ’04 conducts, and Micaela Baranello ’07 is the opera’s assistant director and stage manager. Rodescu states, “We are very excited about it,” in reference to the performance. The audience can share in this sentiment as it is clear from the hard work, energy, and time spent that “Elixir” is a labor of love.