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


Saw this utterly delightful production on tour at the Theatre Royal Norwich last night. The staging and direction were perfect for a small theatre, congratulations to the backstage team. The Principals, Joelle Harvey and Christopher Tiesi were well matched, pacy and reflective as the plot demands. The sublime support of Riccardo Novaro as Dr Dulcamara carried the full house into hilarious raptures, which is not easy in this theatre whose acoustics are a challenge, and with an audience of average age over 70! Complimented perfectly by his clown and Belcore as the Panto villan. It was a complete triumph. I utterly loved it.

A very touching and beautiful performance Joelle was a gorgeous Adina.Lets see more of her.This even improved on the 2006 production.

Wonderful production with superb cast - a most enjoyable evening, very much up to the standard anticipated when visiting Glyndebourne.

I came to the afternoon production on 21st Oct. and felt it was the best I have ever seen at Glyndebourne! The principles were assured and well-cast The Doctor and his assistant were wonderfully entertaining, the Chorus really added to the whole production and clearly enjoyed themselves entering into the spirit of their individual parts all of which contributed to a lively entertaining result. Thank you all !HE

What can I say that hasn't been said already? Wonderful performance in a wonderful, friendly opera house. Best wishes for the rest of the tour and we'll be back for more.

Absolutely brilliant. My 27yo son's first opera and he enjoyed it. My 19 yo daughter's third visit to Glyndebourne and she loved it.

I came on the 26th October with my wife and two friends. We really enjoyed the Opera and the whole afternoon. The principals were excellent as were the chorus and orchestra and the staging. A great time was had by us all

This was the most wonderful production. The set was fantastic - as always - and really enhanced the storytelling.
The performances were amazing: Joélle Harvey as Adina was the standout for me.
I had such an enjoyable afternoon. Glorious Glyndebourne has done it again.

This was our first visit ever to Glyndebourne, and this was such a good introduction. The whole production was a transport of delight and most entertaining. We didn't know what to wear on our first visit, but smart casual definitely fitted the bill for this touring season production.

A perfect evening. I think that this cast and production is even better than the (also excellent)one on the Blu-ray I have of the Festival version. Not only was the singing and orchestral playing superb, but they all really inhabited their characters (including the chorus of villagers). The direction was also more dynamic. I would even buy another Blu Ray to have this incarnation.

Fabulous production. Very uplifting. Wonderful afternoon.

A joyous production. We so enjoyed it that we have recommended friends to see it at Woking when it appears there.

Absolutely delightful. We had a wonderful afternoon on a windy wet Saturday. Could see it all over again!

A wonderful evening the staging orchestra,conductor, powerful voices from the leads and chorus created that magic which only happens now and then. The opera virgins I brought along are now full converts and cant wait for the festival. Glyndebourne is such a unique place.

An absolute joy !! Wonderful production and young singers of outstanding talent. I could have sat through it again.

Well done everyone

We thought that this performance of L'Elisir d'Amore was first-class. The vitality of the cast was infectious and the singing and playing were excellent ~ and the ladies of the cast were lovely to look at! We brought two US friends and we all had a very happy evening.

This was our fourth return to the Tour and this time we introduced a friend. It was a thoroughly enjoyable visit, wonderful music, singing and a terrific production that didn't disappoint in any way. We will be back again - thank you Glyndebourne.

What a very enjoyable Elisir we had!
Voices, acting and subtitles which made a great evening.

A truly lovely performance. Bravo to the whole company. We absolutely loved it all.

I thoroughly endorse everything already said.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening at every level - singing, acting, costumes, set, and orchestral playing. Thank goodness for a production that is fresh and imaginative yet faithful to the composer and librettist's intentions! One of the best evenings we have enjoyed at Glyndebourne this year.

Our first visit to Glyndebourne and what a production ! We enjoyed the visual excitement and superb singing. We would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fantastic musical experience in the heart of Sussex.

A superb production of this charming opera.

Superb. Chorus magnificently choreographed, acting was great - every member had a role. Principals all strong, orchestra excellent. What extraordinary value Glyndebourne Tour is, can't wait for next year!

A fantastic night. We had a great view in the cheap seats for this superb production featuring a brilliant cast-thank you! And thanks to the new system, we managed to get out of the car park in record time. Well done Glyndebourne!!

Brilliant staging and a superb production. Whets the appetite for more!Thoroughly enjoyed Glyndebourne as always.

Great attention to detail by revival director and cast responded admirably. I always think toe tour is superior to the season - not least because it does not cost an arm and a leg! The Glyndebourne Orchestra is magnificent! I have never hears them less than excellent and this was no exception. I sat there and tingled all over, Wonderful.

Great fun-frothy, fast-paced, busy. The Doctor and his sidekick lift the production.

A delight in every way

This l'Elisir d'Amore production was great fun! The set, action and music were all good. We already reccomended the show to relatives.

This was a delight - both the singing and the staging. Our first visit to the Touring season but I hope not the last

We all enjoyed the opera enormously and in particular an impoverished 22 years old friend who had never been to Glyndebourne and only seen one opera before. Thank you to Glyndebourne for allowing this to happen. She treasured the experience and she will, no doubt, make up the audiences of the future.

Its all been said! Excellent Glyndbourne

An excellent production, to be highly recommended.
A special thank you to the Car Park attendants who did a splendid job in the rain to get everyone comfortably parked and made the way out extremely easy.

This was a wonderful production, fantastic staging and choreography, excellent design of set and costumes. The whole cast were brilliant with animated performance all the time. The best rendering of this opera I have ever seen, it was very moving and eloquent. All the principal singers were great but particularly Nemorino and a Adina. It was a step up from the first performance which was also very good. A memorable evening.

A most enjoyable production with brilliant performances by Adina and Nemorino; in fact the entire cast were exuberant and contributed to a memorable evening.

A thoroughly enjoyable production of L'elisir d'amore, and the talk beforehand was interesting. The only problem was the service at dinner, far too slow. A 20 minute wait for the starter, when they knew we were going to the talk at 6, is not good enough. The food was good so it was unfortunate that we had to rush through it. We asked for the coffee with the dessert to speed things up but had to ask again halfway through, they seemed to have forgotten. Will come again to the opera but will probably eat elsewhere.

We loved it and found it spell binding. The production was excellent in every way. Thank you to all taking part.

Took my mother to see this lovely opera, her first time at Glyndebourne...What a great opera to take her too!
loved every part of L'elisir d'amore ...What a great find Christopher Tiesi is as Nemorino!
And what a lovely sound from the Orchestra & the Chorus.
10 out of 10!

Sunday 13th performance, after a terrible afternoon of travel problems and weather it was a delight to sit down to some sparkling music and very talent young singers bringing this production up to top notch, the orchestra and chorus first rate. Glyndebourne you find such talent young performers, and we are so lucky that you can tour with this so that others who do not live as near can see what a magical night you provide.

Superb production and wonderful singing. A life-enhancing experience.

A wonderful evening. It was our 27yr old son's first opera experience and he loved it - amazed he could follow it all so easily and found it very amusing!
The staging was so clever, the set excellent, the acting,choreography and singing outstanding. Put it all together under a great conductor with a brilliant orchestra ensured this was a truly operatic experience.

What a delightful evening we four enjoyed the whole opera, the lighting was wonderful and in particular we loved the still motion of the cast which really did change the scene as intended.

Without a doubt the voices were as always everything you could ask our guests would have liked to return the following day and see it all over again, but unfortunately this was not possible.

It was utterly wonderful from start to finish. Thank you

A wonderful evening. The music, the singing, the acting were all a delight. Dr Dulcamare's assistant was an extraordinary bonus.

An excellent production. Beautiful voices and very acted by all.

It lifted and lit up a dull, chilly, rainy afternoon. We left smiling. Thank you to singers, orchestra, production staff et al for giving such pleasure, particularly for impressing my friends who were making their first visit.

Exhilarating and at times moving. Orchestra excellent singers too

If I am ever to be transported to heaven, it will be upwardly spiraling to the unique operatic tones of Joelle Harvey, as Adina. Christopher Tiesi, as Nemorina, to me was the pure operatic equivalent of Norman Wisdom. With the equally gifted supporting cast of heros and villains, this to me was a lifetime joy, and was at the very summit of world class opera. I was there!

A truly great evening. Music and performance.

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