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The Elixir of Love, Opera in Two Acts by Donizetti

elixir of love event (1).jpg

It is a celebration of innocence, so what could be better than a remote African village. Nemorino is a likable but hopeless romantic who has fallen in love with the bold and quick-witted Adina. She rebuffs his pleas of love and things get worse when she has an offer of marriage from the self-important Sergeant Belcore. When a dubious witchdoctor, Dulcamara, rolls into town he offers Nemorino what seems like the perfect solution – The Elixir of Love.

Creative Team:

Maria Todaro - Stage Director
David Wroe - Orchestra Conductor
David Mayfield - Chorus Master and Rehearsal Pianist
Barbara Erin Delo - Costume Designer

Rochelle Cooper: Seamstress

Carmen Perez; Prop Master

Malik Andrews- Choreographer
Dan Jobbins - Lighting Designer
Eric Grant - Assitant Director
Nan Luchini - Stage Management

Cultural and social counselor about Ghana to Stage Director: Jeremiah Abiah.

Cast:
Jasmine Habersham - Adina
Orson van Gay II - Nemorino
Lawrence Craig - Dr. Dulcamara
Leroy Davis - Sgt. Belcore
Jordan Taylor - Giannetta
Sylvestre K. Akakpo Adzaku - Drummer
Mamoudou Konate - Dancer
Pia Monique Murray - Dancer
Phoenicia Festival of the Voice Orchestra

Phoenicia Festival Chorus Featuring All African-American Chorus

American Tourists: Rosina Montana, Dawn Meola, Elena Batt, Kristin Flones,Dan Chien, Chris Bailey, Philip Levine.

Village children: Avery Laroach - Dancer/drummer , Arianna Bullock, Devon Bullock, Lila Metawee, Sara Metawee, Ava Curnell, Brianna Curnell

Soldiers: Stephen Jones, Harvey Boyer.
Chickens- Nugget, Stormy, Birdie Num Num, Strawberry mom: Elena Batt
Goat- Houdini, Mom: Celeste Montemarano Alexander
Christopher Mee/ Charter Armor LLC - Military Truck and Volkswagen Van

Cameron Gomas/ starkarsenal / HMMWV Military Truck
Steve Weiss/ Fabric Direct - Materials
Al Silverstein and David Balinsky- Dulcamara's Car

Directors Synopsis:

ACT I

 A village in Ghana, nowadays…   A kid plays on his drums as the orchestra blends in for the overture and we see the village come to life. A teacher sets up the bench for outdoor school, kids arrive, women come  to the stream to do laundry[, some carrying on their heads grains they will work at with bamboo]. Nemorino, an impoverished young villager, is madly in love with the beautiful Adina, the successful owner of a fabric business, who he thinks is beyond his reach. Adina is also in love with Nemorino, but she pretends not to be. Instead, she teases him—even as she describes for the villagers and her workers the book she is reading: the story of how Tristan won the heart of Iseult by drinking a magic love potion. Military recruiters arrive, led by the pompous Sergeant Belcore, who immediately introduces himself to Adina and asks her to marry him. Adina declares that she is in no hurry to make up her mind but promises to consider Belcore’s offer. Left alone with Nemorino, Adina tries to provoke him to action by asserting that his time would be better spent in town looking after his sick uncle rather than hoping to win her love. Do as I do, she suggests: change affections every single day. In a futile attempt at bravery, Nemorino can only counter that one can never forget one’s first love.  Dr. Dulcamara, a traveling  “Doctor Feelgood,” arrives in the village promoting a potion capable of curing anything. Nemorino is skeptical but asks shyly if the doctor’s potion can act as the elixir of love in Adina’s book. Dulcamara claims it does, slyly proffering a bottle of simple Palm wine. He explains that Nemorino will have to wait until the next day—when the doctor will be gone—to see the results. Though it costs him the last of his savings, Nemorino buys the elixir and immediately drinks it. As the wine takes effect, he becomes convinced that he will be irresistible to Adina by the next day, so he feigns cheerful indifference towards her. Adina is both surprised and hurt, and she “retaliates” by flirting with Belcore. When orders arrive for the sergeant to return immediately to his garrison, Adina agrees to marry him at once. The shocked Nemorino begs her to wait one more day, but she dismisses him. Instead, she invites the entire village to her wedding—including a group of  American tourists who have just arrived in the village. Desperate,  Nemorino can only beg Dr. Dulcamara for s help. 

ACT II

At the pre-wedding feast, drummers and dancers celebrate in keeping with local custom. Adina and Dulcamara entertain the guests with a traditional song. Adina, however, wonders why Nemorino isn’t there, as she doesn’t want to sign the marriage contract until he appears. Nemorino, meanwhile, asks Dulcamara for another bottle of the elixir, and since he is completely broke, the doctor agrees to wait till Nemorino can borrow the cash. Belcore is bewildered that Adina hasn’t yet started the wedding. When Nemorino tells him that he needs money right away, the sergeant, amused, persuades him to join the army and receive a volunteer bonus. Nemorino does so, buys more elixir, and suddenly finds himself besieged by a group of women. Unaware of the phone calls that have informed them that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he believes the elixir is finally taking effect. Adina feels responsible for Nemorino’s enlistment, but her concern turns to jealousy when she sees him with the other women. Dulcamara boasts about the power of his elixir and offers to sell Adina some, but she is determined to win Nemorino all on her own—and so she does as, not surprisingly, love wins out in the end.