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Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love" at New York City Opera
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Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love" at New York City Opera

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The Elixir of Love
By George Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Felice Romani
At
New York City Opera
www.nycopera.com
David H. Koch Theater
www.lincolncenter.org

Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Felice Romani
Conductor, Brad Cohen
Production, Jonathan Miller
Stage Director, A. Scott Parry
Set & Costume Designer, Isabella Bywater
Lighting Designer, Jeff Harris
Supertitles, A. Scott Parry

Cast:
David Lomelí as Nemorino
Stefania Dovhan as Adina
José Adán Pérez as Belcore
Meredith Lustig as Giannetta
Marco Nisticň as Dulcamara

Chorus Master, Charles F. Prestinari
Fortepiano, Liora Maurer
Associate Conductor, Steven Osgood
Stage Managers,
Samantha Greene, Cindy Knight, Chad Zodrow
Italian Language Coach, Jennifer Ringo

Publicity Coordinator: Shara Seigel

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 3, 2011


From every note, every gesture, every costume, every stage décor, City Opera’s The Elixir of Love was one of the finest productions I’ve ever seen. In fact, a few minutes in, I was wishing everyone I knew could be there with me watching this fantastic show. Yes, it’s a show, as well as an opera, and could even be a huge success on Broadway, with its Arizona-ish 50’s scenery, a set that revolves to the exterior and interior of Adina’s Diner. It’s a tale of love, deception, longing, seduction, and pure joy. Donizetti’s score is at times danceable, at times dream-able, and always formidable. The tenor, David Lomelí as Nemorino, a local admirer of Adina, is charming and impassioned. He gazes upon his object of desire with silent drama, but when he sings his show-stopping aria, “Una furtiva lagrima” to Adina, in Act II, Mr. Lomelí brings down the house with stylistic talent and mesmerizing musicality. The soprano, Stefania Dovhan as Adina, the diner’s proprietor, is costumed as a 50’s blonde movie star look-alike. With or without her apron, she is hot, with swiveling hips and coy flirtation. Her vocal talent, as well, is startlingly sumptuous and just gorgeous.

The baritone, José Adán Pérez as Belcore, the Army sergeant on leave, who will do anything to steal Adina from her admirers, is perfectly cast with some swagger and coolness. His arias and duos, as well, attract the ear, as he attracts the eye. The soprano, Meredith Lustig as Giannetta, Adina’s friend, who turns gold digger, when Nemorino inherits a fortune, has the seductive style and rich soprano quality of a diva in the making. The baritone, Marco Nisticň as Dulcamara, is the Harold Hill-type character here, a doctor who sells cheap wine in the guise of an elixir that will magically empower men to attract women of their choice. Naturally he sells a great deal of this elixir to Nemorino, who thinks the crowd of gold-digging women is the result of the potion, adding to his confidence. Mr. Nisticň is costumed with sunglasses, flashy suit, cigar, and a chrome-adorned 50’s convertible, a real one, at that. In fact, when it rolls onstage, the audience gasped. And, also in fact, Isabella Bywater’s large lifelike diner even included restrooms, gas pump, and payphone on the outside and cash-register and soda fountain on the inside. Her costumes, as well, were engaging, including wide 50’s ruffled skirts.

Brad Cohen kept City Opera Orchestra busy and buoyant, in thrilling fluidity and flourish. Jonathan Miller’s entire production is a masterpiece, and I hope to see it again soon. As mentioned earlier, this particular staged opera could easily slip into a Broadway venue and live happily for a season. That is, if Mr. Lomelí is onboard as Nemorino. As soon as I returned home, I listed to his Act II aria, via You Tube, sung by Pavarotti and Domingo. In a few years, Mr. Lomelí’s You Tube arias will be high on the search list as well. Kudos to Donizetti, and kudos to City Opera for this memorable opera matinee.



Stefania Dovhan as Adina
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg


David Lomelí as Nemorino
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg


Stefania Dovhan, David Lomelí,
Meredith Lustig and Chorus
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg


Josč Adán Pérez, Stefania Dovhan,
and Chorus
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg


Marco Nisticň as Dulcamara
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg


David Lomelí and Chorus
in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love"
at City Opera
Courtesy of Carol Rosegg



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net