Gaetano Donizeti’s The Elixir of Love, is a pleasant break from the tragedies that dominate Opera Australia’s line-up. The production even halts mid-performance to make fun of itself, by characters checking the surtitles.
A cleverly designed, bright set made out of corrugated iron provides the perfect backdrop for this romantic comedy set in an Australian country town in 1915.
Nemorino (Aldo Di Toro), a simple shepherd, pines for the love of Adina (Rachelle Durkin), a wealthy tenant farmer. Belcore (Samuel Dundas), a sergeant, arrives and relentlessly pursues Adina. A classic love triangle forms but with a twist, a travelling scam artist, Dulcamara (Conal Coad) claims to sell a love potion that may sway Adina’s love, and provides a valuable product placement for Coca Cola.
The performance is well acted with Romani’s libretto hilariously translated into Australian slang. Durkin is the vocal standout of the performance, though all three members of the love triangle display expert onstage chemistry. (LD)
Until Aug 31, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $44-315, sydneyoperahouse.com