The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Season 5, Episode 2

L'elisir d'amore (2 Mar. 1981)
"Live from the Metropolitan Opera" L'elisir d'amore (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Music
8.3
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Title: L'elisir d'amore (02 Mar 1981)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Judith Blegen ...
...
Brent Ellis ...
Sergeant Belcore
Sesto Bruscantini ...
Dr. Dulcamara
Louise Wohlafka ...
Giannetta
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Metropolitan Opera Ballet ...
Villagers
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Villagers
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
Nicola Rescigno ...
Himself - Conducted by
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2 March 1981 (USA)  »

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A wonderful production and for me Pavarotti has never been better
22 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I only saw this production recently, having seen the 2005, 1996 and 1992 ones beforehand, and I loved every second of it. My only complaints are one or two moments of uneven sound, and Brent Ellis overdoes it at times with his mannerisms as Belcore, though he does sing very well.

The costumes and sets though are very handsome, and the camera work is mostly very good. The staging is fun, and never takes away from the charm and heart of the story, I especially loved the decision to have Dulcamara come down in a hot air-balloon.

Donizetti's music truly sparkles, and the orchestra and chorus under the assured baton of Nicola Rescigno do an excellent job with it.

Judith Blegen is a very expressive and cute Adina, with a beautiful voice. While Sesto Bruscantini may be past prime vocally, I still think he is wonderful. He is hilarious yet his presence and style are also nuanced and subtle.

Luciano Pavarotti made this production for me. I liked/like him very much, but wasn't always thrilled with him as an actor in the way I was with his voice. As wonderful he is as Rodolfo, Riccardo and Duke of Mantua, I don't think I have ever seen him better than he is here.

His tone and diction are so crystal clear you can(to paraphrase interestingly Rescigno talking about Giuseppe DiStefano) "write down the text and notes of what he sang", complete with one of the most affecting Una Furtiva Lagrimas I've heard in a while. What amazed me was his acting, here Pavarotti is literally bouncing around the stage while still showing Nemorino's strength, dignity and suffering.

Apparently this was the role that he identified with most, and it really shows. Overall, simply wonderful. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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