Bravissimo Maestro Donizetti!

I struggled this week to decide about attending the opera, The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’Amore), by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. 
In order to come to a decision I weighed up the pros and cons. 
Cons were a few. 
The local theatre. The Regent Centre, was broadcasting the Royal Opera House production in the middle of the working week. 
The show starts at 19.15 and lasts around 3 hours with an interval. 
Additionally, I had to travel back and forth to my house numerous times.
Pros included the light-hearted libretto with a happy ending, the world-class production and cast. 
Above everything else was the splendid music of the genius Donizetti who wrote the music for the opera in just 6 weeks.
So, I moved in favour of the live broadcasting and thank God, I did. 
It completely lifted me, physically and psychologically for the rest of the week. My tiredness disappeared, I felt inspired. I happily sang phrases of the well-known aria “ Una Furtiva Lagrima” at home and work.
The synopsis of the opera is simple. The plot develops around the deep love of a poor, naive village boy Nemorino for a rich and attractive girl Adina. 
To complicate the situation a rival, the military sergeant Belcore appears on the scene. 
Nemorino feels he needs a miracle to win over Adina.
Fortunately for him, a con artist called Dr. Dulcamara arrives in the village. 
In a moment of pure brilliance Dr Dulcamara produces the desperately needed love elixir (a half bottle of a cheap Bordeaux wine). 
At the end, Adina realises that she has always been in love with Nemorino who is now conveniently rich and very popular among the village girls following the death of his uncle. 
The love rival Belcore marches away to conquer other women’s hearts. 
Dr Dulcamara’s business flourishes after the success of the love juice. 
The culmination of the opera, in my humble opinion, is the performance of the extraordinary aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima”(“A secret tear”) in the second scene.
Everyone knows this aria. Two tenors – “The Matchless Singer” Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti made it famous worldwide. 
The aria, its words and transcendent music speak to the human soul. It creates tranquility – that exquisite moment when our hearts know that the person we love loves in return. The flash of discovery that we are loved. A heartbeat of relief, ecstasy and faith.
Music says it all. Magic!
The cast is outstanding. The star of the show is the American soprano Nadine Sierra as Adina. She has the complete package – brilliant voice, beautiful face and figure (especially legs) and is an excellent actress. 
The decor compliments the story but disappointment washes over me when I discover that the same decor was used for the production of the opera some years ago. We live in an era of recycling and economic crises.
The next morning my husband Adrian brings me my usual cup of black coffee in bed. 
The elixir of love works for us without fail. 
No secret tear though – big men don’t cry. 

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