L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love)
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
RNCM Theatre, 12 December 2013
Can there be a more beautiful love song than Una furtiva lagrima?
It is an aria that Kang Wang (as Nemorino) sings superbly in this splendid production of Donizetti’s lively comedy.
One can clearly see that Gilbert and Sullivan systematically plundered L’Elisir d’Amore throughout their career, rather in the manner of the Soviet Red Army dismantling the factories and plants and railways of Manchuria at the end of the Second World War. Their The Sorcerer being perhaps the most direct descendent. Dulcamara’s closing aria (a fine performance all around by Thomas Hopkinson) led to Leo Daniderff’s Je cherche après Titine, the song pastiched/performed by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, which is another indication of Donizetti’s pedigree.
A tale of tender love, just a twinge of cynicism added as spice, together with the sublime Una furtiva lagrima. Perfect entertainment.
L’Elisir d’Amore is showing again on Saturday, but that’s the last chance to see it. Further details are here.
Finally, here’s Pavarotti singing Una furtiva lagrima.