L’Elisir d’Amore 2009
Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Electric Sky
Directed by Robin Lough
DVD, color, 88 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Date Entered: 01/19/2011Reviewed by Barbara J. Walter, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO
Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore appears on nearly every “Top 20 Most-Performed Operas” list, and a sparkling production from the Glyndebourne Festival amply demonstrates why. Annabel Arden stages this tale of romantic rivalry in the 1930s, on Lez Brotherston’s ingenious one-set design of an Italian village piazza. Nemorino, a poor mechanic with a poet’s heart, yearns for the lovely and capricious Adina, a wealthy girl from the village who catches the eye of the suave Sgt. Belcore. Fearful of losing Adina to his rival, Nemorino consults the quack Dr. Dulcamara, newly arrived with a cartful of magical elixirs. Will the elixir of love be the solution to his problem?
Tenor Peter Auty shines as the lovesick Nemorino, particularly in his tender, plaintive rendering of the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima.” Ekaterina Siurina’s Adina is by turns brilliantly feisty and meltingly warm. Alfredo Daza stars as Sgt. Belcore, with Luciano DiPasquale as Dr. Dulcamara. Maestro Maurizio Benini, in his premier as a Glyndebourne conductor, leads the London Philharmonic in a nimble accompaniment to action onstage. Chorus master is Thomas Blunt. Filmed before a live audience. Appropriate especially for college-level music courses, and recommended for academic library collections.