October 05, 2021

The perfect 'Elixir' to beat the blues

The Elixir of Love is a heartwarming melodrama filled to the brim with delightful melodies, relatable characters, and laugh-out-loud moments. This Donizetti comedy has been an audience favorite around the world since its premiere in 1832. Here are just a few reasons why this new-to-Chicago production is the perfect escape for right now:

A breathtaking cast

Lyric favorites grace the stage during this production of Elixir. Hear Ailyn Pérez’s floating high notes and Charles Castonovo’s legato lines as they fall in love onstage as the headstrong Adina and lovestruck Nemorino. Kyle Ketelsen and Joshua Hopkins make their role debuts as Dr. Dulcamara and Belcore, bringing charming sound and impressive acting chops to these entertaining characters. This powerhouse cast work together to bring the love story of Nemorino and Adina to life, with the help with the help of an amazing supporting cast and members of the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra, under the baton of bel canto expert Maestro Enrique Mazzola.

Denis Vélez as Giannetta, Kyle Ketelsen as Dulcamara, Joshua Hopkins as Belcore, Ailyn Pérez as Adina, and Charles Castronovo as Nemorino in Lyric's 2021/22 production of The Elixir of Love

Charming melodies

This bel canto gem is one of Donizzeti’s most performed operas — with good reason! You’ll fall in love with the elegant lyricism of “Quanto e bella'' as Nemorino professes his undying love for Adina, declaring how beautiful and dear she is while contemplating how he can win her over; and laugh through Dulcamara’s patter songs as he sells his famous elixir to anyone who will listen. The highlight of any performance of Elixir is the famous tenor aria, “Una furtiva lagrima.” It requires a show stopping voice and we have it in Charles Castronovo. By paring back the instrumentation, Donizetti allows the singer to showcase their smooth tone and highlight all the best characteristics of bel canto (or, “beautiful singing”) music. 

Charles Castronovo as Nemorino in Lyric's 2021/22 production of The Elixir of Love

True-to-life comedy

Elixir is often produced as an opera buffa (or, “comic opera”), but director Daniel Slater chose another approach. Rather than the exaggerated style of comedy often associated with opera buffa, Slater’s portrayal is subtle and sophisticated, mirroring a more realistic version of comedy. 

Kyle Ketelsen as Dulcamara in Lyric's 2021/22 production of The Elixir of Love

Join us for a moment of love and laughter during the 2021/2022 Season with The Elixir of Love, onstage September 26-October 8.

September 26 – October 8, 2021

The Elixir of Love

The Elixir of Love

No operatic hero is more endearing than Nemorino, who pines for the flirtatious Adina. She’s the owner of the town’s hotel, he’s her delightfully naive waiter. His only hope to win her is the “elixir” sold by the quack, Dr. Dulcamara — little does he know that it’s just Bordeaux wine! From start to finish we root for Nemorino, as Adina toys with him until she finally lets him know how she really feels. Elixir is opera’s most heartwarming comedy, filled with Donizetti’s delectable music that brings nonstop smiles.

Header photo: Lyric's 2021/22 production of The Elixir of Love; Credit: Cory Weaver
All other photos: Cory Weaver