L'elisir d'amore

7 October - 14 December 2013
Tour 2013

Nemorino loves Adina; Adina ignores him and falls for the swaggering soldier Belcore instead; Nemorino resorts to desperate measures and tries a fake love potion sold to him by the charlatan magician Dr Dulcamara; the effects are surprising; Nemorino decides that he must forget Adina and join the army; on the brink of losing him, Adina realises that she loves Nemorino after all.

The twists and turns of this plot are dazzlingly delineated by Donizetti in music of delightful invention and at times, true poignancy. The tune that remained on everyone’s lips when the opera was first performed was the yearningly romantic ‘Una furtiva lagrima’, when Nemorino is finally convinced that Adina loves him because he spots the glimmer of a tear in her eye. It has been a favourite with tenors and audiences ever since.

Director Annabel Arden places the action within a rural Italian community and depicts in vivid detail the close-knit gossipy intimacy of village life – a life which is threatened by the testosterone-fuelled chaos which Belcore and his soldiers bring with them. This heady mix has moments of high humour but there is an underlying seriousness that makes the predicament of both Nemorino and Adina painfully real.

We have special family-friendly activities, leading up to the performance of L'elisir d'amore on Saturday 30 November.

“…the whole thing is just a bundle of joyous laughs from start to finish.”
Rated 5* by the Daily Express

“…a delicious winter warmer... Unmissable.”
Sunday Times 

“Charm is timeless, and this staging oozes it."
Rated 4* by The Times

“…a jolly good time is had by the audience.”
The Stage 

"The music is sunny, the plot frivolous yet gripping and the staging works like a charm."
What's On Stage 

A revival of the 2007 Tour production
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Critial Edition by Alberto Zedda. Property of Casa Ricordi, Milan (Universal Music Publishing Ricordi Srl).
Performed by arrangement with G.Ricordi & Co. (London) Ltd.

Act I
In a small village somewhere in Italy a poor young man called Nemorino is hopelessly in love with the capricious and unobtainable Adina. The villagers, led by Giannetta, Adina’s right-hand woman, make fun of his obsessions. Nemorino listens longingly as Adina reads aloud to her farm-workers the story of Tristan and Isolde whose love was inflamed by the drinking of a magic potion.

A stranger arrives in the village, Sergeant Belcore, who immediately begins to flirt with Adina. Nemorino is miserably jealous, and appalled when Belcore asks Adina to marry him. She neither accepts Belcore, nor does she absolutely refuse him. Fearful of losing Adina, Nemorino declares his love for her: kindly but firmly, she turns him down.

A second stranger now appears – the exotic Doctor Dulcamara,claiming to have a miraculous cure. Advertising his potion to the villagers, he makes a killing. Nemorino, believing that the doctor is heaven-sent, asks him if he stocks Isolde’s love potion. Quick to seize the opportunity of making extra money, Dulcamara produces the ‘elixir of love’. It will not, he warns, take effect for 24 hours: by the time Nemorino discovers it is nothing but wine (Bordeaux), the ‘doctor’ will have left the village. Nemorino, who has never drunk alcohol before, empties the bottle and immediately grows cheerful and confident. He pretends to be indifferent to Adina, who is piqued, and to provoke Nemorino she agrees to marry Belcore within six days. But just at that moment the soldiers arrive with orders from their commander to leave the village the following morning. Belcore therefore presses Adina to marry him that very evening. Nemorino is desperate: by the time the love potion works its magic, Adina will be married. He pleads with her, but she, showing all the caprice of her nature, has set her will against him. To the excitement of the whole village, preparations for the wedding go ahead.

Act II
The pre-wedding party is in full swing. Dulcamara and his mischievous servant perform a racy song with Adina. Belcore summons the local lawyer to arrange the marriage contract, but Adina – annoyed by Nemorino’s absence – decides to wait before putting pen to paper. Nemorino, half out of his mind with the fear of losing Adina, begs Dulcamara for another dose of the love potion. Dulcamara will supply the potion only for hard cash. The penniless Nemorino is thus a sitting target for his rival Belcore, who offers him money to enlist as a soldier. Nemorino signs up and goes off to town, the newest member of the regiment.

What Nemorino does not know is that he has just inherited a fortune thanks to the death of his uncle. But Giannetta has heard the news, and passes it on to all the women in the village. Suddenly, Nemorino has become the most eligible local bachelor. He, of course, believes his popularity is caused by the elixir. Dulcamara also begins to believe in the magical effects of his own potion.

Adina, fearing that she will lose Nemorino to another woman, is finally able to acknowledge the strength of her feelings for him; and in a sophisticated and sympathetic tête-à-tête with Dulcamara resolves to win him back. Nemorino dares to hope his dream may come true – he has seen a tell-tale tear in his beloved’s eye. He is rewarded: Adina, having repaid Belcore the recruitment fee,confesses to Nemorino that she really does love him. When they hear of the inheritance, their happiness is complete. Belcore is obliged to search for women elsewhere, and Doctor Dulcamara, attributing all this happiness to the power of the elixir, departs in triumph.

Creative team

Conductor Pablo González
Gareth Hancock (20, 23, 30 Nov; 4, 7, 11, 14 Dec)
Director Annabel Arden
Revival Director Paul Higgins
Designer Lez Brotherston
Lighting Designer Giuseppe di Iorio
Movement Director Leah Hausman

Cast includes

Adina Joélle Harvey
Eliana Pretorian (20, 23, 30 Nov; 4, 7, 11, 14 Dec)
Nemorino Christopher Tiesi
Belcore Alessandro Luongo
Dulcamara Riccardo Novaro
Giannetta Sadhbh Dennedy

Dulcamara (Riccardo Novaro) and Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Adina (Joélle Harvey) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Belcore (Alessandro Luongo) and Adina (Joélle Harvey), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Adina (Joélle Harvey) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Adina (Joélle Harvey) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Giannetta (Sadhbh Dennedy) and Belcore (Alessandro Luongo) L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Adina (Joélle Harvey), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Adina (Joélle Harvey) and Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Cast, L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn
Nemorino (Christopher Tiesi) and Adina (Joélle Harvey), L'elisir d'amore, Tour 2013. Photo:  Sisi Burn

“…the whole thing is just a bundle of joyous laughs from start to finish.”
Rated 5* by the Daily Express

“…a delicious winter warmer... Unmissable.”
Reviewed by the Sunday Times

“Charm is timeless, and this staging oozes it."
Rated 4* by The Times

“Donizetti connoisseurs will want to hear Joélle Harvey’s Adina... Singing with superb technical security, she supplies a stream of bright tone without a hint of edginess.” 
Rated 4* by the Daily Telegraph

“…a jolly good time is had by the audience.”
Reviewed by The Stage 

"The music is sunny, the plot frivolous yet gripping and the staging works like a charm."
Reviewed by What's On Stage


The rain was incessant, but this production was sunshine! Glorious, witty and stellar cast performances. We took some friends who had never been to the opera and they were spellbound! Bravo all 'round!

A magical evening - the singing, orchestra,and choreography were all superb - loved every minute of it! It made Monday evening very special indeed. Well done Glyndebourne - as good as any premium opera.

My goodness, what a superb performance all round! With sublime singing by Adina and Nemorino, with wonderful staging, the silly plot morphed into one of the best productions I have seen at Glyndebourne (including the Festival). It was a privilege to see and hear Joelle Harvey, surely a star in the making.

We have seen this production before and it never fails to amuse and entertain. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, well sung and acted and a lively performance from the orchestra and conductor.

The whole production was so good. One of the most enjoyable operas we have been privileged to see and hear!

After a long day in work a perfect 'Elixir'! This was a beautifully balanced production carried along by an amazing amount of energy from the Conductor and Orchestra, Chorus and Principals alike. The staging was spot on and 'Una Furtiva Lagrima' the pick of some fine individual and ensemble singing.

Our party of 6 thought it was a wonderful evening. One of the best productions we have seen at Glyndebourne. The infectious joie de vive by the cast was a joy.

It was great fun. A most enjoyable evening.A nice change from the more serious stuff. David Watts

Just wonderful. I did not have a programme so do not know the name of Dulcamara's assistant but he was pure genius! The singing was sublime and the staging was endlessly inventive. I particularly liked the period in which it was set. Unlike many "modernised" productions this fitted seamlessly. Great playing from the orchestra and hilarious acting and reacting from the chorus. I would just have liked Nemorino to have expressed a little more pleasure,amazement, even ecstasy, at winning the hand of his beloved! But his singing was so beautiful that that is a mere quibble! A rich and wonderful evening.

A wonderful performance on Monday evening. Thoroughly enjoyable, both comic and poignant. I agree with earlier comments about the ensemble acting and the voices of Nemorino (especially beautiful, real conviction) and Adina. Thanks to all for another memorable evening at Glyndebourne.

A wonderful production. Full of fun. Everyone on stage acted and sang superbly. Just brilliant. Incredibly talented performers. Nemorino's solo by the pump just took our breath away.

What a wonderful evening. That was my first time at Glyndebourne and certainely not the last one. The lieu is superbe and the performance was so great. I want a potion of elisir!

Glyndebourne is the ultimate treat, at both seasons and of course 'L'elisir d'amore' was absolutely up to the usual standard and I have been coming for over 50 years! We had wonderful seats by the [energetic] conductor. weather, as almost always good. Staff kind and attentive and the shop tempting for my wife.
The opera enormous fun, the whole stage full of activity.
Your singers all delighted and they seemed delighted to be performing. The plot however daft was just about believable and quite clever too !
Back to the real world today. Thank you so much.

Another wonderful evening at Glyndebourne. The chorus was excellent - both singing and moving around the stage. The lead cast well chosen. It was, however, the tenor, Christopher Tieri, who stole the night for us. What a beautiful voice! Perfect evening. Highly recommended!

What a dream team - Harvey , Novaro, Luongo and Tiesi. A show polished to perfection by all the cast including an incredibly able chorus.If they are that good on the first night what else lies in store? Talent all round, but backed by a Movement Director and Conductor who have brought zest back into Donizetti's spirited creation. The interplay between Adina and Nemorino was touching. Joelle Harvey has a memorable voice and Glyndebourne tour supporters are fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to hear her sing. Even more reason for supporters to spread the word and back this production.

Utterly delightful, entertaining, wonderfully musical, especially the orchestra - a fine, memorable experience. The final applause was the noisiest and longest I have ever heard at Glyndebourne.
Only one slightly grating note - was it really necessary to depict the wine induced merriment among the ladies in quite such an incapably drunken fashion? Or the lady pulling her knickers down and urinating? That seemed a little gratuitous. I would doubt that Donizetti intended the merriment to be represented by this level of drunkenness. Glyndebourne productions are so superb that they do not need such gratuitous additions. But it was brief, and could not spoil a wonderful production. Bravo!

Excellent performance--superb stage lighting and presentation-thoroughly enjoyed the evening--especially as a widowed pensioner the specially priced ticket!!

A marvellous evening! Lovely lovely singing from all the singers Plus excellent movement & humour.( I have the DVD with Villazon & Netrebco ) The singing of Adina & Nemorino are beautiful, I am tempted to book again .
Looking forward to Hansel & Gretel next week.

I had the most wonderful birthday treat last night. The singing and staging were beautiful. I loved the crowd scenes, costumes and the orchestra was fantastic. Nemorino was so poignant that I even shed a tear at the end. The Glyndebourne gardens are stunning and a warm evening made it a night to remember.

Jacques Lequoc very much present in the exquisite mime of Dulcemara's Assistant, in all the Movement and in the exemplary handling of the chorus who performed with real pzaz and tremendous attack. We did not realise until the rather uncertain curtain calls that this was the first L'Elisir performance of the tour. Music and direction were both stunning, the principals quite remarkable - Nemorino bringing real pathos to his "wimp" role and then using his magnificent voice with admirable restraint and sensitivity to signal his transformation into eligibility and attractiveness. Adina must surely have a great career ahead of her, her thrilling voice - her fortepiani causing us lads to tremble a little - riding the opera house with ease and power and absolutely convincing as she changed from pitying Nemorino to loving him. All were splendid, though we could have wished for a touch more volume from Belcore in the big Donizetti "moments", but Ducemara had the right mixture of chicanery and authority and sang beautifuilly. In all, a splendid evening of real entertainment, combining comedy with surprising moments of realism and emotion. BRAVA!

For my fiorst Glyndbourne (though not first L'elisir), this evening was a dream come true. fantastic staging, beautiful voices, comedy, pathos and a little Mediterranean heat and passion for the end of summer.

The very best Glyndebourne production we have seen. Thank you for a truly outstanding evening!

A great production one of the very best of this Opera we have seen which includes a few at the ROH.We loved it all aspects we thought were excellent hope its a successful tour ,it should be

It was our first visit to Glyndebourne and what a wonderful introduction for us! Just to mention one particular aspect, we noticed that in reviews posted on your own website about the earlier incarnation of this production, there was criticism of the lack of movement: basically that the performers stood around and sang. No-one could possibly say this about this revival of L'elisir, where so much inventive thought had gone into the movement and it succeeded so well. It was a clever and well-judged contrast when the tenor aria (the same of which I am afraid I do not know) was staged with him just holding on to the pump handle. An unfortgettable experience altogether!

A superb production. I particularly liked the choreography of the crowd scenes and the points of detail in their business.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Glyndebourne to see L'elisir d'amore. The box seats afforded good views and the staging was beautiful, the quality of the performace was what one would expect from Glyndebourne. The staff were friendly and helpful and overall it was a wonderful evening. I shall definitely be looking out for next years programe.

Excellent. Good set Good and powerful voices in the leads and chorous. Story well put ovwer. Dr Dulcamara's assistant well played.

A wonderful performance, full of fun, a great evening, thank you.

splendid evening. the music and singing were exquisite. Adina was superbly skilled providing delicate tone and shade with her voice caressing the words. the snake oil pair were brilliantly entertaining and the strong man so deft and theatrical. A wonderful performance. I

Lovely performance, & liked the production.
Wonderful singing by all, especially by "Adina", & "Nemorino"
Dr Dulcamara's assistant was very funny too.

THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE EVENING, even the weather was good, lovely evening to enjoy the grounds.

The stage action is even more intricate and absorbing than I had remembered and I think the revival movement director has managed to improve on what was already very good. I really could not fault either singing or playing and I especially enjoyed Christopher Tiesi's Nemorino. Glyndebourne must bring him back in a Festival production. His tone is consistent throughout the vocal range and has a lovely sappy quality. Also he never snatches at words always fully and clearly enunciating them. A stylist. I see from the programme he won first prize in the Mario Lanza Institute competition. Yup that figures. So all you folk who still cherish your Mario Lanza records need to get to Glyndebourne and fast.

Utterly delightful and the acting and singing of Nemorino was quite superb. Poignant, hilarious and such an exalting evening.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

We welcome your comments on our site. Please note that Glyndebourne reserves the right to remove comments which are deemed inappropriate.

This question is to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Why is there a time limit?

Due to demand from other customers seats are reserved for a maximum of 20 minutes in order to allow you to complete your purchase. If the order has not been completed within this time, all seats will be removed from your basket.