The Elixir Of Love, 2007

Press Review (Bath Chronicle)

"Like every comic opera, the plot is implausible, even preposterous, and its first performance in 1836 pre-dated Gilbert and Sullivan by 40 years.

"Yet both have one common feature - great tunes. Donizetti was a master tunesmith in the Italian style, con passione, and what an attractive cascade of melody we heard.

"This was full of emotion, hearts broken then miraculously mended, and of course it all ended happily.

"This production was full of sparkling good humour which captured the joyful spirit of Donizetti's music and its infectious energy. The setting, moved to the Wild West, allowed for the elixir to be transmuted into snake oil, but it still had the desired effect.

"Hannah Lockwood was outstanding as Adina, the voice effortlessly rising above a band, under Peter Blackwood, which occassionally overcame the singers, especially in the duets and trios, but otherwise did a workmanlike job.

"This is a real coloratura sound which is totally confident at the top end - and she can really act. Rupert Drury as Nemorino has a fine lyric tenor.

"Peter Redfern was suitably immodest about his potions as Dr Dulcamara, Neil Kirkman blustered spendidly as Belcore, and Gillian Clark's Gianetta, sung with poise and style, was deceitfully sexy and come-hither.

"The chorus was in great rumbustious form, especially the dancing girls in red can can dresses, and the crowd scenes were done with panache and joi de vivre.

"Alexandra Denman's production had some neat touches - the broken glass on Adina's high note - and the stage coach appearing over the hill created an amused ripple.

"It was a production full of colour and life - the last show is tonight. Our local opera company definitely deserves our support and our time."

Peter Lloyd Williams, Bath Chronicle, Saturday 24th February 2007

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