[Met Performance] CID:152230

L'Elisir d'Amore
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, December 16, 1949

L'Elisir d'Amore (70)
Gaetano Donizetti | Felice Romani
Bidú Sayão

Ferruccio Tagliavini

Giuseppe Valdengo

Dr. Dulcamara
Salvatore Baccaloni

Paula Lenchner

Giuseppe Antonicelli

Désiré Defrère

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

L'Elisir d'Amore received seven performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Howard Taubman in The New York Times

Sayao and Tagliavini in Gay Presentation of Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" at 'Met'

Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" is a cheerful opera, and the Metropolitan Opera's production, which had its first performance of the season last night, is good, clean fun. It is well sung, and the principal roles were agreeably played. There are not many places around town where you could find such gay and agreeable musical comedy. The plot is simple and farcical in nature. It does not call for warm and compassionate music that a true comedy would demand, and yet Donizetti's music is neither cheap nor tasteless. It has lightness, spirit, a fresh, dancing touch, whether in solo passages, concerted numbers or large ensemble pages.

For the most part it is played and sung in that spirit. One could wish for more imaginative use of the placing and movement of the chorus, but even at Christmas time one should not expect too much. One could also suggest a little less slapstick on the part of one or two principals. But even here there is not much to complain about, for other comic operas have to put up with more shenanigans. Things are reasonably well in hand here.

Bidu Sayao, who has charm as a comedienne and can sing this music with style, was a wholly delightful Adina. Ferruccio Tagliavini did some of his best work as

Nemorino; except for one or two pushed and hollow top tones early in the opera, he sang with poise, freshness and a sense of reserve. Giuseppe Valdengo was a big-chested, sonorous-sounding, amusing Belcore. Salvatore Baccaloni, perfectly at home in opera buffa, did his usual finished job as Dulcamara. Paula Lenchner handled the small part of Giannetta with relish.

Giuseppe Antonicelli conducted with a feeling for the style and period of this music. In several places he let his orchestra become too dominating, but this was only a passing flaw in a neatly paced and graded performance.

If you have been brought up to think that "L'Elisir d'Amore" is nothing but a lot of filling until you get to the piece de resistance, the romanza, "Una furtiva lagrima" which, by the way, Mr. Tagliavini sang to the king's taste - go and listen to this performance. You will find that the opera is full of pleasant things.

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