Met Live in HD: L’Elisir d’Amore
Live Broadcasts | 02/10/2018 | 12:00PM
Run Time: 2 hours, 39 minutes
Live Performance Broadcast
Sung in: Italian
Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met with her first Adina opposite Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing “Una furtiva lagrima.” Bartlett Sher’s production is charming, with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.
Production a gift of The Monteforte Foundation, in honor of Wim Kooyker
About the Met Live in HD:
In December 2006, The Metropolitan Opera launched The Met Live in HD, a series of performance transmissions shown live in high definition in movie theaters around the world. The series expanded from an initial six transmissions to ten in the 2014-15 season and today reaches more than 2,000 venues in 70 countries across six continents. The Live in HD performances are later also shown on public television, and a number of them have been released on DVD. In partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Met has developed a nationwide program for students to attend Live in HD transmissions for free in their schools. The Paramount began broadcasting during the in 2008-09 season and is pleased to continue to present this series for the community.
One of the most popular comic operas in the repertoire, L’Elisir d’Amore combines a lighthearted story with beautiful melodies and four great leading roles. Among the star tenors to appear as Nemorino, and to perform that most rewarding of arias, “Una furtiva lagrima,” are Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, and, more recently, Luciano Pavarotti (pictured) and Matthew Polenzani.
The opera is set in a small village in rural Italy. Some early editions indicate a location in Basque country. The important fact is that it’s a place where everyone knows everyone and where traveling salesmen provide a major form of public entertainment. The Met’s production sets the action in 1836, when the Risorgimento, the movement for Italian independence, was beginning to gather momentum.
What separates L’Elisir d’Amore from dozens of charming comedies composed around the same time is not only the superiority of its hit numbers, but the overall consistency of its music. It represents the best of the bel canto tradition that reigned in Italian opera in the early 19th century—from funny patter songs to rich ensembles to wrenching melody in the solos, most notably the tenor’s showstopping aria “Una furtiva lagrima” in Act II. Its variations between major and minor keys in the climaxes are one of opera’s savviest depictions of a character’s dawning consciousness.