I would like to preface this article by stating that this is not intended to be a review but simply a reaction to the dress rehearsal I was present for of the Met's new production of Gaetano Donizetti's "L'Elisir D'Amore." I refrain from considering this a review for a number of reasons. First off, I will make many comments on the singers (which were all excellent) because this was a rehearsal and they were not singing at an hour optimal to their voices. As such I will focus mainly on addressing my reaction to Bartlett Sher's new production which will open the season this coming Monday September 24. But bear in mind that since this is a rehearsal any comments I make on what I saw may very well be altered or changed by the time Monday rolls around.
As stated by General Manager Peter Gelb, "L'Elisir" represents the first time in his now seven year tenure as manager that the reputable opera company opens with a comedy. An exquisite "Madama Butterfly," a strong "Lucia Di Lamermoor," a gala dedicated to singer Renee Fleming, "Tosca," a unique new production of "Das Rheingold," and "Anna Bolena" were the opening nights of the Gelb period. All of these nights showcased dramatic works that in some ways emphasized the splendor of opera.
But now comes a comedy, an everyman's story of a shy lover who wants THE girl in town but she plays to hard to get. The story plays out like everyone's favorite romantic comedy, but with delightful music. It should be a fun night at the opera with the right singers and production. Continue reading