Elisir d'Amore - Opéra de Nice

Both musically and dramatically, L’elisir d’amore—usually classified as a melodramma giocosa but also described in the score simply as opera comica—inhabits a particular and gentle sort of comic world. As William Ashbrook has said, Elisir is a kind of ‘male Cinderella’, and a bucolic variant at that; it may have roots in the buffa tradition, but it is not pure buffa. On the first night of opéra nice côte d’azur’s season-opening production (November 22), the conductor seemed to understand that better than the director. If Nice’s orchestra could not achieve the ultimate in Donizettian sparkle, delivering instead a performance that was full-blooded, Roland Böer was still in complete control, conducting with muscular buoyancy and mastery of long spans while showing himself alert to the score’s special tinta. Above all, Böer (who also played the recitatives) showed how pathos is the key to this piece (…)

John Allison, Opera, February 2018

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