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Great Performances At The Met: L’Elisir d’Amore

Airs Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Anna Netrebko as Adina and Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino in Donizetti’s "L’Elisir d’Amore."

Star soprano Anna Netrebko takes center stage as Adina, the irresistible heroine of Gaetano Donizetti’s "L’Elisir d’Amore" (The Elixir of Love), on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

Courtesy of Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir dAmore.”

Courtesy of Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Anna Netrebko (center) as Adina in in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore."

Courtesy of Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Anna Netrebko as Adina, Mariusz Kwiecien as Sergeant Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri as Doctor Dulcamara in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.”

Courtesy of Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Ambrogio Maestri as Dr. Dulcamara and Anna Netrebko as Adina in Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore."

Matthew Polenzani (Alfredo in last season's "La Traviata" on GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET) is seen in his Met role debut as the lovelorn peasant Nemorino, who wins Adina's heart with the help of a mysterious "elixir of love" that bears a suspicious resemblance to French wine.

Although "L’Elisir d’Amore" is one of the most popular comic operas in the repertory, this production marks the first time it has been performed on a Met’s opening night.

Bartlett Sher (Tony Award-winning stage director of "South Pacific") has directed three previous productions at the Met: Rossini’s "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" (2006), Offenbach’s "Les Contes d’Hoffmann" (2009), and Rossini’s "Le Comte Ory" (2011).

The broadcast preserves Anna Netrebko’s Met role debut as Adina, though she sang a portion of the opera in a 2006 Met gala and has performed the role to acclaim at the Mariinsky Theatre, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Netrebko opened the Met’s 2011-12 season with a celebrated performance in the fiery title role of Donizetti’s "Anna Bolena" and returned in the spring as the title character in a new production of Massenet’s "Manon," both on GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET.

Charismatic baritone Mariusz Kwiecien sings Belcore, Nemorino's swaggering rival, and Ambrogio Maestri is the potion-peddling traveling salesman Doctor Dulcamara. Conductor Maurizio Benini made his Met debut leading "L’Elisir d’Amore" in 1998 and also directed a 2009 revival of the opera.

"A handsome and insightful new staging...Anna Netrebko's singing is feisty and earthy one moment, poignant and shimmering the next," reported Anthony Tommasini of the The New York Times in reviewing this production.

“Anna Netrebko was lovely to listen to and riveting to watch, as always,” enthused Mike Silverman of Associated Press who found Matthew Polenzani’s “show-stopping aria, ‘Una furtiva lagrima,’ especially winning."

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Video

Preview: Great Performances At The Met: L'Elisir d'Amore

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Watch GP at the Met: L'Elisir d'Amore Preview on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino, star in Bartlett Sher’s new production of one of the great comic gems in opera. Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir. Maurizio Benini conducts.

Video

Matthew Polenzani performs "Una Furtiva Lagrima"

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Watch L'Elisir d'Amore: "Una Furtiva Lagrima" on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino performs “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from "L’Elisir d’Amore" (The Elixir of Love).

Video

Act II Love Duet: Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani

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Watch L'Elisir d'Amore: Act II love duet on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: Anna Netrebko as Adina and Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino perform the Act II love duet in Donizetti’s "L’Elisir d’Amore" (The Elixir of Love).

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