An Almodóvar-style 'Elisir d'Amore'
from Valencia and Palermo,
reviewed by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
When I reviewed a Venetian production of Gaetano Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore [A Real Surprise, M&V 3 November 2010], I thought it useful to recall that several opera guidebooks treat this specific work as a comic opera or even an opera buffa on the grounds that, during the decades when Donizetti's operas were nearly forgotten, L'Elisir never left the repertory because it is pure comedy with two hilarious characters (Dulcamara and Belcore) and a gentle young couple in love (even though, almost until the end, she pretends not to be interested in the fellow). Also the orchestration seems comparatively easy, as it used to be the opera buffa canon. Nonetheless, L'Elisir is called by its very authors melodramma giocoso, which means a semi seria opera like Rossini's La Gazza Ladra, Paisiello's Nina Pazza per Amore, Mayr's Lodoiska and Bellini's La Sonnambula. It was a category of musical theatre very popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century...
Copyright © 17 June 2012