Vancouver Opera’s L’Elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) harkens back to the small towns of our past.
Written by Brenna Corner.
There is something remarkable about a classic story re-told in an updated period. The specifics may be different but the inherent themes and our understanding of the characters stays constant. This is what I feel like every time I think about this production of The Elixir of Love.
Originally created several years ago by James Robinson, this production transports this classic piece from the hills of Italy to the fields of North America. When it was first produced, this production was set in ‘Anytown USA’ circa early 1910s, and travelled to many different cities in the United States. In each of the different cities, unique elements were added to give the show a regional flavour; being set in a small village in the middle of a rural landscape, the structure of this piece lend itself to many places. It has now travelled to ‘Anytown Canada’, although the Canadian resemblance is probably strongest in the hills of the Okanagan.
Full of a myriad of characters: the under-achieving small town kid, the beautiful and educated young woman, the blustery recruiting officer and the quack of a doctor pedalling his goods. This story encompasses all those well known archetypes of a small town. A mixture of the Music Man, and Thorton Wilder’s Our Town with a dash of Canadiana, and of course an ice cream truck thrown in, this production harkens back to the small towns of our past, and the simplicity of a different time. And as this story is quick to remind us, even in a different era finding love has always been difficult and yet playful journey.
Vancouver Opera presents Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) on January 21, 25 & 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Get your tickets here.
Opera and Theatre Director Brenna Corner’s last stint with Vancouver Opera was Directing their 2016 production of Hansel and Gretel, with puppets by the old Trout puppet workshop. She currently resides stateside and is the Resident Director with the Atlanta Opera, and will be directing their upcoming production of Carmen in the spring as well as The Flying Dutchman with Cincinnati Opera and Houston Grand Opera later this year.