Saturday, September 26

L’elisire d’amore

- October 14, 2019

For every modern interpretation, every wild re-setting or adaptation of an opera, and no doubt many work well, there is the right time to leave things as they are. So this revival of Donizetti’s charming rural comic romance is one that serves that need. The slight shift in period apart, this is the perfect example of leaving well alone, and the shift in time actually works well.

What we have here is musical perfection, beautiful settings and no distracting nonsense. This is opera at its most charming, gentle humour and real romance.

Of course none of this would be as anything were it not for some very fine performances, and in this revival for the tour the cast is beautifully formed. Firstly the chorus are as ever on their game, not only vocally but also in their portrayal of the villagers, especially when the women of the village are drunkenly lolling around the stage. The orchestra are equally on form, not drunkenly lolling of course, but delightfully bright and balanced.

Misha Kiria is marvellous as Dr Dulcamara, a mountain of bluff and bluster expressed in a thunderously rich voice. His assistant, Maxime Nourissat is both sinister and comic and his performance is well place, entertaining yes, but never distracting.

Matthew Durkan is brilliantly pompous and self confident, handsome and bold and every inch the arrogant suitor.

At the heart of the love story Benedetta Torre is excellent as the cruel hearted Adina, beautiful and severe at the start and mellowing as the tale unfolds. In contrast to her sophistication Sehoon Moon is delightful as the innocent and unsophisticated Nemorino. Moon looks perfect in the role and his fine voice further emphasises that innocence, gentle, pure and truly delightful.

A truly charming production in every sense and, despite a few rather saucy moments, an ideal work to introduce younger people to the beauty of opera.

13 October


Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★½

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