Donizetti's charming comedy is a celebration of innocence, so what setting could be better than a small Italian-American community in the Napa Valley, circa 1915? In this ingenious update, ...
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Donizetti's charming comedy is a celebration of innocence, so what setting could be better than a small Italian-American community in the Napa Valley, circa 1915? In this ingenious update, the naive Nemorino believes that a love potion will win him Adina's heart. Blossoming from a shy Italian immigrant to a plucky entrepreneur, he captures both his sweetheart and the American dream over the course of this delightful opera buffa. Tenor Ramon Vargas superbly embodies the role of the lovesick Nemorino. The beautiful but aloof Adina is sung by soprano Inva Mula. Recorded Fall 2008, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco. Written by
Charming production of L'Elisir D'Amore from San Francisco
L'Elisir D'Amore is one of Donizetti's best along with Lucia Di Lammermoor, La Fille Du Regiment and Don Pasquale, it's charming and funny with gorgeous music. This production from San Francisco is not the best I've seen, that the 1967 Scotto, Bergonzi, Taddei and Cava production, but it is still sparkles with charm and fun which you would hope to get from a production of this opera. Visually, apart from the generic ice-cream sign it looks pretty and colourful, and the staging never feels overdone or dull. The orchestral playing is lively and energetic, the pungent bassoon solo in Una Furtiva Lagrima is deserving of a mention, and Bruno Campanella's conducting is straightforward while never losing any of the score's sparkle. The chorus are well balanced and animated. Ramon Vargas is very appealing as Nemorino, coming across as shy and awkward to start with and finally showing some self-esteem at the end. His purity of tone and musicality are exceptional, especially in Una Furtiva Lagrima. Inva Mula's Adina is witty and charming, she sings with youthful effortlessness and you can definitely see why everybody loves her. Alessandro Corbelli, in an entrance that works within the concept but perhaps not in a more traditional setting, is a brilliant Dulcamara. His articulation and diction as ever are spot-on as is his comic timing, and while you can tell Dulcamara is a con-artist Corbelli lets us know that subtly and charmingly rather than in an overdone or blatant fashion. Giorgio Caoduro's Belcore is great, pompous while not being seemingly aware of it and of the cast it is his colouratura that stood out as the most impressive. Overall, charming and beautifully done with a great cast. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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