This is a comic opera in two acts, written by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. It was written in only six weeks and was instantly popular. Between 1838 and 1848 it was regularly the most performed opera in Italy. L'elixir d'amore premiered on 12th May 1832 in Milan at the Teatro della Canobbiana.
It is still the most performed of Donizetti's operas and it comes 13th on the list of most performed operas worldwide. It has been recorded numerous times.
The opera contains 'Una furtiva lagrima'; a popular tenor aria sung by the main two characters Adina and Nemorino.
The story of L'elixir d'amore takes place in a small village in the Basque Country, Spain, towards the end of the eighteenth century.
Nemorino is a poor peasant who is in love with a beautiful landowner called Adina. He hopes that a magic potion will gain Adina's love. Belcore, a sergeant, arrives and tries to court Adina. This unsettles Nemorino who decides to declare his love for Adina, who rejects him. Dulcamara, a medicine man, arrives and Nemorino decides to buy a love potion from him. Dulcamara tells Nemorino that the potion wont work for twenty four hours, giving him enough time to escape before Nemorino discovers that it has not worked. After taking some of the potion, Nemorino meets Adina and acts indifferently, which annoys Adina. Belcore proposed to Adina, who agrees to marry him in six days time. However, the following day Belcore discovers that his regiment must leave the next day, and so Adina promises to marry him before he leaves and invites everyone to the upcoming wedding.
Belcore and Adina are waiting to sign the official marriage contract but Adina is annoyed that Nemorino has not attended. Dulcamara is there and Nemorino finds him, begging for another potion that is stronger as he believes he has lost Adina. However, since Nemorino has no money to pay him, Dulcamara refuses to give him any potion and leaves. Adina has put off signing the marriage contract and Belcore emerges wondering why she has postponed it. He discoverd Nemorino and asks why he looks miserable. Nemorino replies that he needs money, and Belcore persuades him to sign a contract and join the military, for which Nemorino receives some money. Rumours spread that Nemorino's uncle has just died leaving him a fortune. Nemorino returns to the village after purchasing another love potion, and is greeted by friendly women. This convinces him that the potion has worked. Adina sees Nemorino and asks Dulcamara why he is so popular. On explaining Nemorino's desperation to win over the attention of a women, Adina realises his sincerity and that she loves him.
Nemorino, a peasant in love with Adina, tenor
Adina, a wealthy landowner, soprano
Belcore, a sergeant, baritone
Dr Dulcamara, a medicine man, bass
Giannetta, Adina's friend, soprano
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L’Elisir d’Amore | 5 Performances
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