Nemorino is madly in love with Adina, who either ignores him or taunts him. In desperation he purchases a love potion from wheeler-dealer Dulcamara, who assures him of its immediate effect. Sure enough, the 'potion' (a potent alcoholic brew) gives Nemorino a boost of confidence. The gossip that Nemorino has suddenly come into money reaches the ears of the ladies, who begin to take great interest in him. Nemorino, convinced this is the effect of the potion, rejoices that Adina will soon be his. Meanwhile, his love rival Belcore pushes Adina to agree to marry him. Nemorino, frantic that he will not win Adina in time, goes to buy more of the elxir, but realises he can't afford it. In desperation he signs up to work with Belcore. Adina, seeing girls falling at Nemorino's feet realises that she is jealous and that she is really in love with Nemorino, but is it too late?
a two-hour explosion of beautiful music, top-class singing, and exceptional acting
This tiny company of young singers and musicians, few of them over 30, tired (I suppose) of hanging around opera-house doors in hopes of a career break, have hit the road with little more than a car-full of props and equipment, an electric piano - and an arsenal of talent. The whole production, brilliantly improvised to suit the room, felt like a two-hour explosion of beautiful music, top-class singing, and exceptional acting.
I honestly cannot imagine anyone, of any age or class or tastes, who would have been bored or unmoved. Such small-scale stuff may never get a full Times review, so let me say that Clementine Lovell was utterly beguiling as Adina - and you could watch her expressive coquetry at a range of 5ft. Her hang-dog, kitchen-boy worshipper, the tenor Cliff Zammit-Stevens, blew us away with Nemorino's duets and arias; Penelope Manser was deftly adorable as the waitress, Gianetta; and Ricardo Panela and Tom Kennedy - a travelling salesman and a quack doctor - turned comedy caddishness into astonishing music.
If Pop-up pop up anywhere near you, pop in. you'll stay to cheer.
...a vivid and zippy show, certainly funnier and better in many ways than ENO's and ROH's...
I have seen L'Elisir d'Amore at Glyndebourne, at the ENO and at the ROH, and I have always loved it, but I think never as much as the way Pop-up Opera did it in Brunel's Tunnel Shaft under the Thames.
The Daily Express*****
Pop-Up Opera aim to take opera out to the ‘hesitant, as well as to dedicated opera lovers’. I confess to having been hesitant, but I’m suddenly in danger of becoming dedicated.
If any group can make opera converts, this one can.