Donizetti's 'Elixir of Love' begins Saturday

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010

Opera to Go will kick off its season with Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera "L'Elisir D'Amore," or "The Elixir of Love." Shows run this weekend, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, and next weekend, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20, at the Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium.

Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire

Donizetti wrote over 75 operas in his relatively short lifetime (1797-1848), and this is one of his most popular; it is also among the most performed operas in North America. The story could be described as "Green Acres" meets "Tristan und Isolde." A simple young farmer, Nemorino, is in love with Adina, a capricious landowner. He is devastated when she agrees to marry Belcore, a sergeant, who has just arrived in town with his regiment. As luck would have it, a traveling salesman, Dulcamara, shows up, selling a magic potion that can cure absolutely everything. He tells Nemorino that the potion, the same one used by Queen Isolde, will cause all women, Adina included, to swoon at his feet. However, it will take a full day for the effect of the potion to reach its potential -żenough time for Dulcamara to be safely away. After a series of plot twists, the story works itself out neatly with a happy ending.

This production features local singers Kathleen Wayne, Jay Query, David Miller, Philippe Damerval, and OTG debutante Emily Smith. The OTG chorus and the Amalga Chamber Orchestra round out the talent.

William Todd Hunt directs, and Roald Simonson and Akiko Nishijima are reunited as director and scenic designer. Art Rotch, Akiko's husband and Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre, also returns to OTG as lighting designer. Juneau newcomer Fiona Zachel heads up costumes.

Tickets are available at Hearthside Books and at the door, and are $20 for general admission, $15 for senior citizens and $5 for students through college.

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