L’ELISIR D’AMORE at the Washington National Opera


Washington National Opera: The Elixir of Love

Handsome Nemorino employs a “magical tonic” to win feisty Adina’s affections in Donizetti’s loveable comic opera–a warm and inspired masterpiece cherished for its whimsical wit, endearing characters, beautiful arias, and intoxicating duets.

The Elixir of Love (uncredited)

Gaetano Donizetti’s
The Elixir of Love
(L’elisir d’amore)
Libretto by Felice Romani
WNO revival
In Donizetti’s loveable comic opera, handsome peasant Nemorino has the misfortune to fall head over heels for fickle and feisty landowner Adina. Without money, he just can’t compete with wealthy Sergeant Belcore, Adina’s dashing yet pompous suitor.
Enter the elixir of love, peddled by an eccentric traveling quack, Doctor Dulcamara. Though it’s only cheap table wine, Nemorino is convinced this “magical tonic” has now empowered him to win Adina’s affections–even as her wedding to Sergeant Belcore leaps into full swing! Might his newfound confidence and uninhibited charm melt her heart after all?
One of the world’s most frequently performed operas, The Elixir of Love is cherished for its whimsical wit and endearing characters, not to mention the many intoxicating duets and “Una furtiva lagrima,” one of the most hauntingly beautiful of all tenor arias. Fresh from WNO’s Anna Bolena last fall, renowned British director Stephen Lawless returns with his warm and inspired take on Donizetti’s masterpiece, last seen by WNO audiences in 2006, but this time with a few new twists. The production also features an accomplished cast of new and familiar faces, along with young American conductor Ward Stare in his WNO debut. 
“Witty and mischievous at times, flashy and lovely at others!”
–LA Daily News
Adina: Sarah Coburn (3/20, 23, 25, 28), Ekaterina Siurina (3/22, 24, 26, 29)
Nemorino: Stephen Costello (3/20, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29), Daniel Montenegro (3/22 & 25)
Sergeant Belcore: Simone Alberghini (3/20, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29), Aleksey Bogdanov (3/22 & 25)
Dulcamara: Nicola Ulivieri (3/20, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29), Peixin Chen (3/22 & 25)
Conductor: Ward Stare
Director: Stephen Lawless
Set Designer: Johan Engels
Costume Designer: Ashley Martin-Davis

Performed in Italian with projected English titles. Titles may not be visible from the rear of the orchestra.


Musicologist Saul Lilienstein leads the Thursday, Mar. 20 Opera Insight, starting 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and lasting 35–40 minutes. All other Opera Insights start 1 hour before the performance and last 20–25 minutes.
Informative and entertaining, Opera Insights take you inside the composer’s mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera.
These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of The Elixir of Love.

Following these performances:
Sunday matinee, March 23
Monday evening, March 24
Join WNO artists for a unique opportunity to ask questions about the production.
All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.


Performance Timing: Act I – 70 min.; Intermission – 20 min.; Act II – 56 min. (2-3/4 hours)


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