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Photos by Elena Jannicelli-Sandella
Photos by Elena Jannicelli-Sandella
All the townspeople celebrate a pre-wedding feast for Adina (Sarah Moulton Faux, front center) and Sgt. Belcore (Jonathan Hare, front row right)

Regina Opera Company is bringing a comedic opera with iconic music, “L’Elisir d’Amore,” to its fans

Translated to “The Elixir of Love,” the opera consists of two acts and was composed by Gaetano Donizetti in the 1830s.

The performance, which will take place at Sunset Park’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) later this month, will be stage-directed by longtime member of Regina Opera Linda Lehr, who is excited to take on the classic tale.

“This is the second time it was done (by Regina),” she said. “It was done 11 years ago. It’s a lot of fun because of the comedy aspect and the music is just so wonderful. I was familiar with it but I haven’t really seen a production of it other than the one we did 11 years ago and the more I work on it, the more it grows on me.”

“It’s got gorgeous music,” including such numbers as “Una Furtiva Lagrima.” Lehr enthused.

The production is about a character named Nemorino, a young peasant, who is in love with Adina, a wealthy woman. Although he is infatuated with her, he thinks she doesn’t even notice him.

“He’s the cool guy in the village and she’s wealthy,” explained Lehr. “He’s in love with her and she won’t give him the time of day, but we find out she’s not as adverse to him as it seems.”

That brings audiences to the character, Dr. Dulcamara, a charlatan, who has magic potions for sale. “He is a traveling snake oil salesman that comes to town and offers a love potion and it’s actually a bottle of wine,” Lehr said.

A lot happens in between the two acts, including Nemorino’s rich uncle dying and leaving him all of his fortune. However, Adina doesn’t know it and accepts him anyway.

“In between, there are some beautiful duets that are absolutely gorgeous and it’s got a real sweetness to the show that I just love,” Lehr said. “It’s nice to finally have a happy ending in the season.”

Lehr hopes audiences take away a lesson that wealth isn’t everything when it involves love. “I think that as much as people talk about status and wealth, what really changes her mind, because she doesn’t know about the uncle, is that she realizes he really loves her and that she really loves him too,” she explained. “There is a meeting of the minds and the heart, even if they’re from different social classes. Everything changes before she knows he’s inherited money from his uncle.”

Lehr stresses that the music is a highlight. “We have six really great numbers and this is one of (Donizetti’s) most popular operas,” Lehr said. “It’s chock full of duets and ensembles that are just wonderful music.”

The talent for this show is also exceptional. “It’s a mix of old and new people and just a beautiful blend of voices,” she said. “We are into our run-throughs. This past Saturday, we did our first two which went well and then next Saturday is dress rehearsal. Then we start next weekend. And of course before that on Wednesday of next week we have our sneak performance. If you’ve never seen the opera, this is the perfect production to see. I think the audience will absolutely love it.”

“L’Elisir d’Amore” will be performed at OLPH’s auditorium. 5902 Sixth Avenue, on Saturday, May 13, Sunday May 14, Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, 21 at 3 p.m. General admission is $25. Seniors get in for $20. College students can get in for $20, teens for $5, and children are free.

There is also free admission to a sneak peak performance on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit www.reginaopera.org.

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