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Melodramma in two acts

Composer Gaetano Donizetti · Felice Romani after Augustin Eugène Scribe
Italian with German surtitles

Saturday, 07. January 2012
07:00 pm – 09:45 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 45 minutes · 1 Interval between 1. Akt and 2. Akt (est. 08:15 pm - 08:45 pm )

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Dan Ettinger
Inszenierung
David Bösch
Bühne
Patrick Bannwart
Kostüme
Falko Herold
Licht
Michael Bauer
Dramaturgie
Rainer Karlitschek
Chor
Stellario Fagone

Adina
Adriana Kucerová
Nemorino
Pavol Breslik
Belcore
Levente Molnár
Dulcamara
Ambrogio Maestri
Giannetta
Tara Erraught
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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Variety is a scarce commodity in the glum little village depicted by Gaetano Donizetti and his librettist Felice Romani – the only prospects beyond the stifling confines of this backwater seem to be the illusion of a hero’s life as a soldier, even if it might lead to an untimely death.

But what wonders a little bottle of Bordeaux can work! Shrinking violet Nemorino really turns up the volume courting Adina after just a couple of sips of the love elixir he purchased from miracle doctor, Dulcamara. And the potion promptly takes effect. Nemorino turns into a daredevil, preferring to die in battle rather than see his beloved Adina fall into the hands of strapping Sergeant Belcore. The ambitious Adina cannot resist the charms of the bold Nemorino – and even Dulcamara is flabbergasted at the energy and transformation released by his deception: this woebegone world of dolorous yearning is suddenly filled with color and fantasy.

And the listeners are left with the hope that this music might be able to transform them, too.

 

Act One

Nemorino is in love with Adina but has nobody in whom he can confide, least of all the woman he adores. He is full of admiration for her: she seems to him to be so clever and, above all, so very beautiful. He laments about himself, however, for being stupid and without means. For her part, Adina is interested in what she has just been reading, the story of Tristan and Isolde. She has also taken a fancy to Belcore, one of a detachment of soldiers stationed in the area. Belcore loses no time in proposing marriage to Adina the first time they meet – he urges her rapid acceptance – the wedding tomorrow and back to the battlefield the day after.
Nemorino is now forced to act: he begs for a word with Adina and tells her how desperately he loves her. But Adina rejects him, saying that his feelings are in vain and he should rather look after his sick old uncle.

A glimmer of hope now appears on the horizon for Nemorino, however,  in the person of Dulcamara, who claims to be able to cure all the ailments in the world with his potions. Nemorino asks Dulcamara about the magic potion, an elixir of love, which he has heard Adina reading about in the story of Tristan and Isolde. Dulcamara, who never misses a chance to do business, sells the delighted Nemorino a love potion and promises him that the object of his passion will be his within twenty-four hours. Nemorino has hardly swallowed the elixir – which is a pure Bordeaux – before his self-esteem begins to grow. Nemorino  no longer seems worried  at the thought of Adina’s imminent wedding. This change in Nemorino, his seeming indifference, merely makes Adina defiant. She decides to marry Belcore that same day. Nemorino is horrified as he sees time working against him.

Act Two

As part of the wedding celebrations Dulcamara wants to entertain the guests by singing a barcarolle with Adina; the story tells of how a young gondoliera, Nina, rejects a senator’s wealth in order to marry instead the poor young man, Zanetto, whom she loves.

Nemorino – now under pressure – asks Dulcamara for another dose of the elixir, but Dulcamara will not sell him one for less than 20 scudi and Nemorino no longer has enough money. Belcore, who sees in this a good opportunity to get rid of his rival, offers Nemorino 20 scudi if he will enlist in his regiment. Nemorino signs up with no hesitation.

When the rumour spreads that Nemorino’s uncle has died, leaving him a fortune, he suddenly becomes a good catch as a husband. Nemorino, who still has not heard the news, puts the amazing behaviour of the village girls down to the fact that the potion he has just bought and drunk is working. Adina, who also has no idea that Nemorino has become so wealthy, is astonished to see how popular he is with the girls – and learns from Dulcamara the supposed reason for Nemorino’s behaviour: the elixir. He also offers her a love potion but she declines with thanks – saying she prefers to rely on her own powers of judgement. Out of pity for Nemorino she buys him out of his contract with the military. Nemorino, however, would rather die on the battlefield than live without Adina. Adina finally admits her feelings for Nemorino and breaks her engagement to Belcore, who has no alternative than to follow orders and go off to war. Nemorino is overjoyed and puts his unexpected success with Adina down to Dulcamara’s potion – and the latter is also completely amazed by the miracles which his elixir has brought about.

Premiere of Gaetano Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" on December 1, 2009 in the Nationaltheater.

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Biographies

Dan Ettinger, in Israel geboren, begann seine Karriere 1999 an der New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. Nach zweijähriger Tätigkeit als Gastdirigent des Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra wurde er 2003 Kapellmeister und Assistent von Daniel Barenboim an der Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin sowie 2005 Chefdirigent des Israel Symphony Orchestra. Es folgten Engagements u.a. an der Wiener Staatsoper (Otello, Tosca), am New National Theatre Tokio (Falstaff), der Metropolitan Opera in New York (Le nozze di Figaro, Turandot) sowie am Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London (La bohème, La traviata). Seit 2009 ist er Generalmusikdirektor am Nationaltheater Mannheim und seit 2010 Chefdirigent des New Tokio Philharmonic Orchestra, seit 2015 zudem Generalmusikdirektor der Stuttgarter Philharmoniker. (Stand 2016)

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