What You Need to Know About Donizetti's THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

September 26 - October 8 at Lyric Opera of Chicago

CHICAGO, IL (8/16/2021) – Opera’s most heartwarming comedy, filled with Donizetti’s delectable music, is sure to bring nonstop smiles. Nemorino, the naive waiter, pines for the flirtatious Adina, the owner of the town’s hotel and Nemorino’s boss. His only hope to win her love is Dr. Dulcamara’s “elixir” — little does he know that it’s just Bordeaux wine! As we root for Nemorino, audiences are sure to laugh, gasp, “ooo” and “ahh”.

  • Classic Italian repertoire: While Donizetti and librettist Felice Romani may have hastily adapted a French comic opera to Italian in six weeks, The Elixir of Love has become one of most frequently performed Donizetti operas in the world and a classic of the bel canto repertoire.
  • After launching his career as Lyric’s Music Director with Verdi’s MacbethMaestro Enrique Mazzola, a true master of the bel canto repertoire, returns to the podium to lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra. The Maestro will have the difficult yet impressive task of performing back-to-back Verdi and Donizetti during these runs, demonstrating his versatility and expertise in the craft.
  • Exciting Lyric directorial debut: British director Daniel Slater comes to Lyric with over sixty productions in seventeen countries under his belt, including operas at Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, Santa Fe, Houston Grand Opera, and San Francisco. Slater started his career as acting Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre and Associate Director of the Nottingham Playhouse.
  • Ailyn Pérez in her element: The Chicago soprano steps into the role of Adina, which she has performed to great acclaim at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper and Washington National Opera. You can also see Pérez in Lyric’s Pagliacci film.
  • Charles Castronovo’s long-awaited Lyric return: After triumphant performances in Lyric’s The Magic Flute (2011/12) and Eugene Onegin (2016/17), the American tenor returns to Lyric as Nemorino — a role he’s known for internationally. Castronovo and Pérez are sure to bring one of the best Elixir love duos to Lyric’s stage.
  • Also featuring fellow Lyric favorites: Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins, most recently seen as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte (2017/18), and American bass-baritone Kyle Ketlesen, who can be seen in Lyric’s Celebrating Sir Andrew Davis production, round out the Elixir cast as Belcore and Dulcamara respectively.
  • Only five chances to experience the magic : September 26 (matinee), 29 (matinee) and October 2, 5, 8
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes, including 1 intermission.
  • Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
  • For updated information about Lyric’s ongoing initiatives regarding health and safety protocols, visit lyricopera.org/safety.
  • Information on dining and concessions will be shared prior to the season opening.

About Lyric

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Enrique Mazzola, and Special Project Advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from, the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration, and evolving learning opportunities, ever-more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center; and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming, and artists—magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.

Join us @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Lyric’s presentation of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love is generously made possible by

Sonia Florian

Additional support is provided by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Production Circle.

A co-production of Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, originally created by Opera North, UK.

Enrique Mazzola is generously sponsored by the following members of the Enrique Circle

Alice & John Butler


H. Gael Neeson

Sylvia Neil & Daniel Fischel

Robert & Penelope Steiner Family Foundation

The Enrique Circle is comprised of Lyric’s most dedicated supporters who are committed to championing Maestro Enrique Mazzola's exciting artistic vision and legacy.

Photo: Pittsburgh Opera/David Bachman Photography