November 2 at 7pm
Gaetano Donizetti's The Elixir of Love | Opera Colorado 2007

Photo credit: Matthew Staver


Adina Maria Kanyova, soprano
Nemorino  Barry Banks, tenor
Belcore Timothy Mix, baritone
Dulcamara Simone Alberghini, bass-baritone
Giannetta Lianne Coble, soprano
Opera Colorado Chorus John Baril, director
Colorado Symphony Orchestra    Carlo Montanaro, conductor




Scene 1. Nemorino, a shy and simple young man is in love with Adina, a wealthy country girl. But Adina is willful, and his offers of love are constantly rejected. Adina is seated apart from a group of townspeople reading, and Nemorino wonders how he could possibly win her love since she is so wonderful and much better than him. She has just come across the legend of the potion, which bound Tristan and Isolde with undying love and reads it aloud to amuse the others.

At this point a drum is heard, and a platoon of soldiers enters, headed by the dashing and bombastic Sergeant Belcore. Belcore at once begins to woo Adina, and in spite of his self-assurance and arrogance, she is flattered; however, to his hasty proposal of marriage she answers that she would like a little time to think it over. Nemorino, naturally, is very jealous and when everyone else leaves, he begs Adina to return his love, but in vain; she prefers to remain fancy free.

Scene 2. Dr. Dulcamara, a picturesque and loquacious quack, arrives in the town square, and, before the assembled townspeople, he sings the praises of his wonderful remedy, guaranteed to cure all ills. The naïve Nemorino is impressed and asks whether he also sells the love potion of Queen Isolde. Naturally Dulcamara obliges him, but warns him that the potion will take effect only after twenty-four hours - which will give him enough time to leave town - and that no one must know about it. Nemorino is now so pleased and sure of himself that Adina is surprised to find him in a cheerful and confident mood; he assures her that his heart will be cured within one day. In a fit of pique, she then tells Belcore that she will marry him in six days’ time. Nemorino is not worried; he knows that tomorrow she will fall at his feet. But a message reached Belcore with an order to leave town in the morning, so Adina agrees to marry him that very day. Nemorino is now desperate, but his entreaties to Adina to postpone the wedding for just one day are all in vain. She invites everyone to the marriage feast, and they all mock the distraught Nemorino.

Act II

Scene 1. The marriage feast in anticipation of the wedding is in progress and Dulcamara is among the guests. When the minister arrives, Adina hesitates to sign the marriage contract, as Nemorino is not there and her vengeance would not be complete without him. As the company goes off elsewhere, he enters and finding Dulcamara alone, asks for help. Dulcamara prescribes another dose of his remedy, but Nemorino has no ore money. The doctor gives him a quarter of an hour to find it. Belcore now enters and persuades Nemorino to enlist in the army if he wants money, commenting to himself with glee that to enlist one’s own rival is quite a clever stroke. Nemorino accepts in the hope of winning Adina’s love before having to leave.

Scene 2. The news is spreading throughout the town that Nemorino’s rich uncle has died, leaving him sole heir. All the local girls surround him with attention and the Nemorino, in his simplicity, believes this to be the effect of the potion. Adina is astonished at his popularity, and so is Dulcamara, who tells her about the potion. She is deeply moved, especially when she hears that Nemorino has sold his freedom for her. She realizes that she is, in fact, in love with him. Nemorino notices that she is weakening and is delighted. When Adina comes back with the enlistment papers, which she has just bought from Belcore, she admits to Nemorino that she loves him; and when Dulcamara lets slip the news he has just heard about the inheritance, Nemorino’s happiness is complete. Dulcamara, of course, attributes all this good fortune to his own magic elixir, and all the townspeople rush to buy it. Finally everyone except Belcore blesses him as he departs for the next town.

Synopsis partially provided by: John T. Gates, Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

- Courtesy of Opera Colorado -

Opera Colorado