Written September 23, 2014
Donizetti's magnificent opera L'Elisir d'Amore is a lament of unrequited love, or a pleading to re-think our over-commitments. Matthew Polenzani, who sings the role of Nemorino, brings down the house at one point with his genuinely riveting portrayal of a man whose love for Adina meets with almost total rejection, until close to the end, when she finally returns his affections and love. This operatic drama is a wonderfully dynamic portrayal of a human dilemma, namely: Often our deepest commitments -- our most authentic expressions of love -- are met with rebuffs, betrayals, and rejections. That should give cause for our reflection about over-commitment, and a reawakening to the need for mutual respect, shared affections, and -- ultimately -- partnerships in love. Over-commitments can stifle love, rather than nurture it. A deeply authentic commitment can evoke mutually felt love.
Written July 24, 2014
I've seen almost all the HDTV performances since they started, and I must say that this "L'Elisir. . ." was one of the greatest. I forgot that I was in a movie theater instead of at the Met itself and started to applaud after every aria. But it wasn't just the arias; Bartlett Sher's interpretation and how it was carried out by all the singers was smiply perfect.
Written August 30, 2014
Fantastic, from start to finish! Matthew Polenzani, as Nemorino, and Anna Netrebko, as Adina, were so passionate in their performances, both the comedic and the serious, that I was riveted. Matthew kissed the words and notes, and, truly, challenged Pavarotti's singing, of one of opera's most beloved arias. My cinema audience, spontaneuosly, burst into applause, in great appreciation. Mariusz Kwiecien was very believable as the bombastic, egotistical Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri, as Doctor Dulcamara, hillariously, stole the show. I loved Producer, Bart Sher's interpretation, showing the pathos and human agony of unrequited love, as well as the humorous foolishness of lovers, who will stop at nothing. The painted brushstroke sets were so well suited to the beautiful, strong costumes. I highly recommend this production, looking forward to seeing it, again, soon, on DVD. The Met, Live in HD opera performances are the highlight of my social season. I love them! Keep them coming, PLEASE!!!
Written October 20, 2014
L'Elisir d'Amore was delightful. Most of the audience at the end was saying just that on the way out the door. For a vehicle belonging to Luciano Pavarotti for 30 or 40 years, Matthew Polanzani managed to excel with an entirely different take (Bartlett Sher's responsibility) on the feeling of the story. Netrebko's Adina playful and well sung. Also the Belcore and Dulcamara. They have a winner here that was unexpected to us. Here's to seeing this production for the next 25 years.
Written July 24, 2014
This production opened the Met's season in fine fashion. Donizetti's L'Elisir has been performed for more than 150 years for good reason. Its just one of the most enjoyable operas around. This production feature Anna Netrebko as Adina, and of course she was wonderful in a role she has done many times. Matthew Polenzani was a excellent Nemorino. This opera contains one of the greatest tenor arias, "Una Furtiva Lagrima", which Polenzani sang to perfection.
There will be a rebroadcast on Nov. 7, and if you missed it this do yourself a favor and see the rebroadcast. You'll have a fun time.