Opera On the Road

Dayton Opera’s Artists-in-Residence presents a short, English version of the comic opera “The Elixir of Love” by Gaetano Donizetti. In “The Elixir of Love,” sassy cowgirl Adina can’t seem to get shy ranch hand Nemorino to declare his love for her. When a rival, the soldier Belcore, appears on the scene, Nemorino buys a “magic love potion” from Dr. Dulcamara to try to win Adina’s heart. The Artists-in-Residence narrate the action, explaining the elements of drama and opera along the way. This production is suited to all ages and is perfect for families and home school groups. We are portable and can come to you! Click here for more information on how to bring Dayton Opera on the Road to you!

About the Program

The Elixir of Love is a romantic comedy, and honestly, who couldn’t use some laughter in their lives after what we’ve all been through?  It’s filled with beautiful music (including one of the best-loved and most famous arias for tenor, “Una furtiva lagrima” (One secret tear), which has been used in dozens of movies, TV shows, and commercials).

Although it is a piece that is beloved by aficionados, it is also a great introduction to the “opera curious,” … the perfect piece to help people fall in love with opera. It’s a simple, relatable story, with characters like you and me…a feel-good story where true love conquers all.


The shy young farmer, Nemorino, sighs for the wealthy landowner, Adina. She reads aloud the story of Tristan and Isolde and of the magic love potion that makes Isolde fall in love with Tristan. They both wish they had such a magic potion. Sergeant Belcore arrives, full of swagger, and makes advances on Adina, who flirts with him, much to Nemorino’s chagrin. Dr, Dulcamara, a quack healer, arrives peddling self-help books filled with recipes for miraculous cures. Nemorino asks if she sells the elixir of Queen Isolde, and Dulcamara produces just the potion (in reality, a bottle of Gatorade left from his lunch). She claims it will work in only 24 hours to work— giving just enough time to get out of town. Nemorino tries the potion and finds new courage. Adina is irritated by Nemorino’s sudden indifference, and when Belcore returns, she accepts his marriage proposal. Belcore suggests they marry immediately, and Nemorino begs Adina to delay the wedding for just one day (to allow time for the potion to work). To make Nemorino jealous, Adina leaves with Belcore. In a panic, Nemorino asks Dulcamara for another bottle if elixir to speed up the effect, but the good doctor demands payment first. As Nemorino bemoans his lack of funds, Belcore offers him a signing bonus if he enlists in the army. They joyously march off together. Watching them leave, Adina learns of the elixir and of Nemorino’s enlistment from Dulcamara and realizes not only how much Nemorino truly loves her but that she loves him as well. She leaves with tears in her eyes, thinking she has lost him. Adina buys back his enlistment papers and confesses her love. With this success, Dulcamara now plans to peddle this magical elixir.