What is The Elixir of Love All About?

Gaetano Donizetti wrote countless operas, and many of them stand as cornerstones of early 19th century opera. Perhaps the most well-loved of all his operas is L'elisir d'amore, or, The Elixir of Love, which premiered in 1832.

In the opera, we meet Nemorino, a young man hopelessly in love with the richest and most beautiful woman in the village: the clever and fiery Adina. Adina is laughing about the story of Tristan and Isolde and their magic love potion, when a charming and handsome sergeant named Belcore appears and promptly begins wooing her. Adina is amused and flattered by Belcore's advances, but makes it clear that she cannot be won over so easily.

Once Belcore leaves, Nemorino confesses his feelings for her. Adina is once again flattered, but explains that she does not want to be tied to one person, and advises Nemorino to follow her example. All seems lost to Nemorino, until a self-proclaimed doctor by the name of Dulcamara appears and sells him a magical elixir, just like the one Adina described. Dulcamara tells Nemorino that the elixir will take effect in 24 hours' time. In reality, the "elixir" is a bottle of vintage wine, which quickly intoxicates Nemorino and elates his confidence. Adina sees the change in him, and frustrated by his indifference, agrees to marry Belcore in order to make him jealous. When the couple announces that the wedding will be later that day, Nemorino is shaken and begs Adina to wait. Nemorino approaches the doctor once more and asks for another elixir to speed up the effects of the first, but he has already spent all his savings on the first bottle. In order to garner enough funds for a second bottle, Nemorino agrees to join Belcore's regiment in exchange for an immediate cash advance: enough to buy another bottle of elixir. Meanwhile, the women of the village have received a juicy piece of gossip: Nemorino's wealthy uncle has just died, leaving him a massive inheritance and making him the most eligible bachelor in town. When Nemorino returns, the women swarm him, much to Adina's discontent. Adina prods the doctor for information, and he reveals that Nemorino signed into Belcore's regiment in order to buy a love potion from him. Adina purchases Nemorino's contract back and presents it to him, freeing him from his military duty. The two confess their love for one another, and Dulcamara claims Nemorino's success is the work of his elixir. The village sings Dulcamara's praises and the opera ends with the village in a grand celebration.

In Vera Causa Opera's unique re-imagining of the opera, the action takes place inside of a grand Hollywood hotel. Adina is the owner and heiress, Nemorino a humble bellhop, Dulcamara the hotel's bartender, and Belcore a famous movie star staying at the hotel.

We are absolutely thrilled to share this colourful and exciting production with our wonderful audiences in Cambridge, Waterloo, and Guelph, on April 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2019.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here!


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