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Lelisir damore

opera taste-off
music by Gaetano Donizetti

Credits

Felice Romanis Italian libretto based on French libretto by Augustin Eugène Scribe for an opera by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber Lelisir damore (Love Potion)
Music director and conductor: Dmitri Jurowski
Artistic concept designer, stage director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Set designer, lighting designer, video: Sergey Skornetsky
Costume designer: Zhanna Usacheva
Stage chorus master: Vyacheslav Podyelsky
Movement director: Artur Oshepkov

2 hours 25 minutes

one intermission

performed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)

Premiered on September 7, 2017

This is a simple story of an ingenious guy Nemorino, who believes in the magic power of the love potion, which turns out to be ... plain wine. How will the love story of Nemorino and Adina end? The sparkling plot of a subtle love story is filled with lots of lively tunes, have been keeping the audiences attention for 185 years, and the brilliant arias like Una furtiva lagrima are forever in the list of golden opera classics.

Lelisir damore will be presented at the NOVAT stage by the chief director of the theatre Vyacheslav Starodubtsev: In the past people believed that the real feelings like love, hope, trust can turn a usual water into magic potion, and nowadays, in a society of endless consumption people need a whole different remedies.

ACT I

Scene 1

Adina, a rich young lady owns several farms. The action of the opera takes place at one of them. Adinas friends are singing a merry tune, the leading voice belongs to Adinas close friend, Gianetta. Meanwhile, Nemorino who is desperately in love with Adina is singing a tender aria about his love, Quanto e bella, quanto e r (How beautiful she is).

As for Adina, she is reading the story of Tristan and Isolde to her friends. It tells about a magic potion helping the main characters fall in love with each other, and speaking to himself, Nemorino decides to find this magic potion come hell or high water.

With the sound of the drums the soldiers of Sergeant Belcore enter the village. The glorious warrior Belcore immediately notices Adina and vigorously proposes her to marry him. The lady declines his proposal in light and flirty way. Now that everyone is gone, the stuttering poor boy Nemorino annoys Adina with his courting. She sends Nemorino away to his sick uncle in town, who has been getting at her lately with passionate expressions of love (Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera Ask the flattering breeze ).

Scene 2

The villagers are excited to see a wealthy looking man. That is doctor Dulcamara, the quack healer, trading all kind of stuff. What is it that he is selling now? The magic potion, of course. One becomes all powerful in love after drinking it. The locals set in line to buy this elixir, which costs not so much, by the way. The suspicious Nemorino wants only the one, capable of charming Isolde. He gets it for a significantly bigger amount of money (Nemorino gives away the last golden coin for it). That was of course, the same bottle of Bordeaux, just like all the rest. After having a lot of it, Nemorino being pretty drunk and self-aware speaks to Adina in presumptuous way. This new behavior affects the girls pride and she agrees to marry Sergeant Belcore to spite Nemorino.

Poor Nemorino! Dulcamara told him to take the potion in twenty four hours, but Adina has accepted Belcores proposal and promised to marry him tonight, because the sergeant received an order to set off next morning. Everyone is invited to the wedding; Nemorino is begging (in vain) to delay the ceremony at least for one day.

ACT II

Scene 1

Several hours later. The villagers gather to help Adina prepare for her wedding with Sergeant Belcore. Doctor Dulcamara plays the main role in this event. When the civil law notary is announced to arrive, confused Nemorino talks to Dulcamara about the situation he got into. Obviously, the quack recommends buying another bottle, the one that will start working in half an hour. Unfortunately, Nemorino has no more money left. Consequently, when the doctor leaves him Nemorino turns to his nemesis, Sergeant Belcore, asking for advice. He suggests signing up for the combat arms, because each recruit gets twenty escudo for that. They come to an agreement and Nemorino gets his money.

Scene 2

As it should be in a typical music comedy, things work out the best possible way in the final scene, which takes place the same evening. The chorus of chatty girls informs the audience that Nemorino inherited his uncles immense fortune. Nemorino yet knows nothing, and when he appears more self-aware than ever, because of the elixir all girls fall in love with him. He acts like he doesnt care about the burst of attention to his person, even Adinas behavior; she seems to be really upset about this turn of events. Doctor Dulcamara sees a potential customer and suggests Adina buying his potion. She tells him that she has a better option, which is a number of female tricks.

Left alone, Nemorino sings his famous aria Una furtiva lagrima (A furtive tear). He sees how sorrowful Adina is and tells that he would rather die to make her happy. However, when Adina approaches him, he acts indifferent. Even when she returns him the recruit form, which she has bought back from Belcore, he is still cold. In the end, she cant hold it and confesses she loves him. Their duet ends up in passionate outpour of feelings they are happy now. Belcore is philosophic about that: there are a lot of other goals to reach for a courageous soldier. Now everyone knows that Nemorino inherited a fortune. The good old doctor Dulcamara is convinced and convincing the others - that their happiness is a product of his potion, his chemical experiments. The opera ends with everyone buying a bottle of magic Love Potion.