Sierra Cinemas presents ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ by Gaetano Donizetti as part of The Met Opera Live in HD in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Sierra Cinemas presents ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ by Gaetano Donizetti as part of The Met Opera Live in HD in Grass Valley

John Deaderick
Special to Prospector

This production of "L’Elisir D’Amore" will feature a realistic period setting and costume design.

The elixir of love pours in abundance from Donizetti's charming and often beautiful work. Even those who resist opera's allure may fall sway to this delectable treat.

A village beauty, a humble peasant with self-esteem issues, a macho-man soldier who expects women to fall at his feet: these three engage in a love triangle that is of course predictable and at the same time utterly involving. Add to this mix a traveling quack peddling the magical "elixir" and one can easily see where things are heading. But, so what?

"L'Elisir" contains one of the most splendid tenor arias, "Una furtiva lagrima," "a secret tear," and is charged with humor, passion, and manifold opportunities to demonstrate outstanding vocal prowess.

This Met's cast features soprano Pretty Yende debuting in the role of the independent and proud Adina, a woman who may not be the best judge of her own feelings. Ever so charming and compelling on stage, Ms. Yende proves to be the perfect love interest. Matthew Polenzani, who is making something of a career playing the role, returns as the love-struck Nemorino.

To gain his heart's desire, he must confront his own lack of self-confidence. At the nadir of his hope, he gets the best tune as he dares to begin the ascent from this despai, the touching Una furtiva. Enter the deus ex machina, Dr. Dulcamara, peddling cheap wine sold as a cure-all, the eponymous elixir, which of course, Nemorino must have. The heavy is the military man, Belcore, sung by Davide Luciano with a suitable blend of suavity and crassness

No modern re-staging here: the audience will be treated to realistic period setting and costume design, so those wary of the more challenging edge of operatic production may relax. Donizetti, along with Bellini and Rossini, may be viewed as the creator of the Italian style: high melodrama and florid bel canto vocalisms.

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Though his total output was small, the impact of his mastery proved extensive. You can hear why this is so on Saturday. Note that this opera begins at 9 a.m.

John Deaderick is a local theatre artist and the author of "Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis," available at Amazon.com.

KNOW & GO

WHO: The Del Oro Theatre

WHAT: The Metropolitan Opera, LIVE in HD — “L’Elisir D’Amore”

WHEN: 9 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: The Del Oro Theatre, 165 Mill Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $22 Adults, $20 Seniors, $18 Children 12 and under & students with ID; Available online at http://www.sierratheaters.com or at the Del Oro Box Office

INFO: http://www.sierratheaters.com, 530-477-1100

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