Sunshine show of wit and charm
The Elixir of Love, by Opera North @ Theatre Royal, Norwich.
The Elixir of Love, by Opera North @ Theatre Royal, Norwich
By Charles Roberts
This exuberantly fresh look at Donizetti's comic masterpiece is an elixir indeed. It lifts the spirits through its pace, its directorial wit, its happy cohesion of singing and acting – and in its delightfully sunny disposition.
From the instant that the curtain goes up, the warmth and sunshine welcome us in.
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The scene – and a splendid idea it is – is the terrace of an Italian hotel where all the town appears to meet – doctor, priest, lawyer, and everybody down to the local, batty eccentric.
Even before the chorus have opened their mouths, we are smiling broadly and ready to be entertained. And entertained we are.
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- 3 Two Norfolk restaurants in top five 'secret' places to eat on English coast
- 4 38 Norfolk schools and university named in students' accounts of sex abuse
- 5 Man denies causing death by careless driving on A47 in Norfolk
- 6 WATCH: Heron patiently waits for fish and chips
- 7 A47 driver stopped in smashed up Vauxhall and failed drug test
- 8 'We offered £20k over and still lost out': Frantic housing market revealed
- 9 Canaries closing in on new shirt sponsor
- 10 Prince William, George and Charlotte start races at Sandringham
Conveniently, our desirable heroine of the piece, Adina, is patronne of the hotel. In Mary Hegarty's interpretation, she is vital, strong of character and effortlessly sexy; and sung with an exciting relish for Donizetti's showpiece, swooping flights and runs of notes.
Our anti-hero who becomes hero, Nemorino, is drawn and deepened by Paul Nilon in an admirable fusion of actorly character study and lyric tenor sound, controlled and sure.
Richard Whitehouse's Belcore is transmogrified into a dishy Italian navy captain, in all-whites and dark-glasses, with the charm of a black cobra. Then there is the conman, Dr Dulcamara, as realised by Christopher Purves, in a hugely enjoyable comic study.