Opera Explained: Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (Audiobook CD)

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Opera Explained: Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (Audiobook CD)

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Naxos
CD Release Date: August 1, 2003
Run Time: 78 minutes

L’elisir d’amore, or The Elixir of Love, has remained popular for almost two centuries because of a touching tale and a galaxy of comic characters adapted from the traditional commedia dell’arte. Donizetti poured into the score all the warmth and tenderness of the Italian temperament, his melodic invention never ceasing to charm whether in the jolly rustic choruses, the exhilarating patter numbers, or the sweet sadness of the beautiful arias, of which “Una furtiva lagrima,” the great tenor showpiece, is the best known.

Opera Explained
This series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the pricipal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recording of the complete work, Thomson Smillie in informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.



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History


L’Elisir d’Amore premiered at Milan’s Teatro Cannobiana in 1832. The opera is quintessential Donizetti, and one of the composer’s greatest popular successes. Nemorino, a poor peasant is in love with Adina, a wealthy landowner. Unable to summon the courage to express his feelings, he buys a bottle of special elixir from a traveling medicine man. Unbeknownst to Nemorino, the bottle holds nothing but Bordeaux wine, but the ‘Elisir’ works some magic nevertheless.

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