L'Elisir D'Amore


It is pretentious to try to review Donizetti at this point, and largely ungrateful to try to review a given performance given how few are available to most people. So I won't try. But given that it was Samuel's first "Night at the Opera" and given that I'd asked for prayers that all go smoothly, I thought I'd report in.

First, it was a wonderful evening. It's been a very long time since I've been able to attend the Opera and I can't think when I've enjoyed something so much. I so appreciative of those who love the culture enough to keep trying despite dwindling attendance and skyrocketing costs.

L'elisir D'Amore is a frothy bit of comic opera--at one time a vehicle for the enormous success of Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti. Donizetti is a composer who bridges the gap between the Mozartian Operas and Italian Grand Opera. "L'elisir" is about a woman with two suitors, one of whom is a simple country man, the other a soldier of fortune. A quack doctor comes into town to sell his snake-oil and he is asked by the country man for an Elixir like that that wooed Queen Isolde. Of course the peddler has a supply to hand and generously sells it to the suitor. Chaos ensues and wraps up in classic fashion.

Samuel appeared to have wonderful time for the first half of the Opera and seemed to fight off sleep for the second half, which has some of the truly stirring and wonderful music in the piece. All-in-all, it was a very promising operatic debut for Samuel. I look forward to The Marriage of Figaro. The jury is still out on whether or not he will join us for Tosca. But thank you all for your prayers. Given that the little guy is only seven, he showed heroic virtue and strength in even being able to sit mostly still for it. And, he showed remarkable taste in liking it and enjoying it to some extent.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 11, 2006 9:41 AM.

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