L'elisir d'amoreThe Elixir of Love

Opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Donizetti's music is lively, fresh, entertaining and catchy. In a touching way, he combined comedy with melancholy and a pinch of sentimentality. He has composed many exciting arias and ensembles, which are among the great belcanto classics. Director ...

Donizetti's music is lively, fresh, entertaining and catchy. In a touching way, he combined comedy with melancholy and a pinch of sentimentality. He has composed many exciting arias and ensembles, which are among the great belcanto classics. Director Percy Adlon, known to a wide audience by his successful movie »Out of Rosenheim« (»Bagdad Café«) of 1987, has succeeded with his first opera work and created an evening full of wit, humor and colourful images.

  • Conductor
    • Andriy Yurkevych
  • Director
    • Percy Adlon
  • Set design
    • Frank Philipp Schlößmann
  • Costume design
    • Kathi Maurer
  • Chorus Master
    • Eberhard Friedrich


    Sung in Italian with German surtitles
    2:30 h | including 1 interval
    • Synopsis

      ACT I
      The young and naive peasant Nemorino loves Adina, though she has nothing but scorn for him. Adina reads the tale of Tristan and Isolde to the villagers. This gives Nemorino the idea of winning Adina’s love by means of a magic potion.
      The sergeant Belcore enters with his soldiers. He pays court to Adina, who is impressed. Nemorino pleads with Adina, but she resists his advances again.
      A trumpeter announces the arrival of Dulcamara. This traveling doctor is hawking a remedy for all ills. Nemorino asks him for Isolde’s love potion. Dulcamara sells him a bottle of Bordeaux, advising him that it will take effect in 24 hours.
      Nemorino hastily drinks the draught. The alcohol and the prospect of success bestow unwonted self-confidence on Nemorino. Adina is annoyed by his uncustomary high spirits and out of spite she gives her consent to Belcore’s suit.
      News is brought of the imminent departure of the troops. As a result the wedding is scheduled for the evening. Nemorino is desperate because the potion will not have time to take effect. He begs Adina to put the wedding off. His peculiar behaviour only incites her to make fun of him even more.

      ACT II
      The pre-nuptial feast is in progress.
      Belcore insists that the marriage contract should be signed and the marriage consummated. Adina, however, wants Nemorino to be present before she signs.
      Nemorino begs Dulcamara for help. He recommends buying another bottle of the so-called love potion, but Nemorino does not have enough money. In desperation he allows Belcore to enlist him as a soldier. With the recruitment pay he buys a second bottle of Bordeaux from Dulcamara.
      Giannetta and the village girls discover that Nemorino has been bequeathed a fortune, although he is not yet aware of this himself. He notices that women are suddenly attracted to him in great numbers – the love potion must be working!
      Dulcamara and Adina see Nemorino amid a throng of girls. Adina is seized by jealousy, and realises that in fact she loves Nemorino. Dulca’mara tells her about the love potion and suggests she buy a bottle herself. Adina feels she can trust to her own charms and has no need of magic potions. A tear in Adina’s eye reveals to Nemorino that at last his love is requited. Adina has bought back his enlistment papers from Belcore but still does not want to own up to her feelings for Nemorino. Only when Nemorino threatens to enlist nevertheless does Adina confess her love for him.
      Belcore and the soldiers depart. Thanks to Nemorino’s success with Adina, Dulcamara is doing the briskest trade of his life with his »elixir of love«.