Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Nemorino loves Adina; Adina ignores him and falls for the swaggering soldier Belcore instead; Nemorino resorts to desperate measures and tries a fake love potion sold to him by the charlatan magician Dr Dulcamara; the effects are surprising; Nemorino decides that he must forget Adina and join the army; on the brink of losing him, Adina realises that she loves Nemorino after all.
The twists and turns of this plot are dazzlingly delineated by Donizetti in music of delightful invention and at times, true poignancy. The tune that remained on everyone’s lips when the opera was first performed was the yearningly romantic ‘Una furtiva lagrima’, when Nemorino is finally convinced that Adina loves him because he spots the glimmer of a tear in her eye. It has been a favourite with tenors and audiences ever since.
Director Annabel Arden places the action within a rural Italian community and depicts in vivid detail the close-knit gossipy intimacy of village life – a life which is threatened by the testosterone-fuelled chaos which Belcore and his soldiers bring with them. This heady mix has moments of high humour but there is an underlying seriousness that makes the predicament of both Nemorino and Adina painfully real.