GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET: L’Elisir d’Amore
Airs Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, January 18, 2013
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."