L'Elisir D'Amore

As has become their custom, Opera Colorado has chosen a love theme for their annual Valentine's Day week production, in this case Donizetti's exquisite bon-bon, L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love).

Maria Kanyova as Adina and the Opera Colorado chorus
Maria Kanyova as Adina
and the Opera Colorado chorus
Photo: Matthew Staver

Stage Director James Robinson adds to the fun by setting the story somewhere in Norman Rockwell's heartland, a stone's throw from Meredith Wilson's River City, Iowa, and scenic designer Allen Moyer tops off the visuals with a spectacular gazebo/bandstand and a vintage Model-T ice cream truck.

Those who savor bel canto will find a lot to love in the five talented voices and maestro Carlo Montanaro's warm orchestration that bring alive Gaetano Donizetti's charming score and Felice Romani's comedic and heartwarming libretto.

Maria Kanyova (Don Giovanni, 2003; The Marriage of Figaro, 2005; The Abduction from the Seraglio, 2006) once again wows us with her marvelous, expressive soprano and fine acting as the footloose and fancy free seductress, Adina.

Maria Kanyova as Adina and Barry Banks as Nemorino
Maria Kanyova as Adina
and Barry Banks as Nemorino
Photo: Matthew Staver
Pining for this unattainable beauty is the hapless ice cream salesman, Nemarino, who invariably finds himself tongue-tied in her presence. Tenor Barry Banks takes us on a soaring ride as he slowly imbues the initially indecisive and meek Nemarino with the courage and self-confidence needed to win Adina's heart. Banks' rendition of the beloved aria "Una furtiva lagrima" (A furtive tear) stops the show.

Simone Alberghini as Dr. Dulcamara
Simone Alberghini as Dr. Dulcamara
Photo: Matthew Staver
Timothy Mix's impressive baritone and looming presence as the swashbuckling Sergeant Belcore adds to the seeming impossibility of Nemarino's quest. With a bass-baritone to match his chutzpah, Simone Alberghini, as the snake oil salesman, Dr. Dulcamara, provides impressive punch as the deus ex machina who concocts the placebo that changes Nemorino's life. Opera Colorado ensemble member Lianne Coble is lovely in voice and utterly charming as the local farm girl, Gianetta.

L'Elisir D'Amore runs through Sunday, February 18th. 303-357-2787 or

Bob Bows


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