Rolando Villazón is both performer and stage director in this 2012 production of Donizetti’s L'Elisir d’amore in Baden Baden! “I accepted the challenge of staging and singing for the same production because I had been told never to do it,” jokingly confided the brilliant Mexican tenor who captures the audience's hearts with the famous air “Una furtiva lagrima”, an aria sung by his character Nemorino, passionate admirer of the beautiful and rich Adina (Miah Persson), who snubs the poor farm boy. Pablo Héras-Casado conducts the period-instrument specialized Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, and together they create the quintessential musical magic that is bel canto.
One of the three masters of bel canto along with Rossini and Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti was one of early 19th-century France's most popular composers. Within the thirty years that followed its premiere in 1832, his Elisir d’amore had been performed in 36 countries and translated into 14 languages, and to this day it never ceases to fascinate stage directors and performers alike. Inspired by the timeless myth of Tristan and Isolde and based on Eugène Scribe’s Filtre, Felice Romani’s libretto weaves a tale about a group of fascinating individuals whose identities derive nonetheless from the typical characters of commedia dell’arte.
Photo: Andrea Kremper