South African soprano Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met with her first Adina opposite American tenor, Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing Una furtiva lagrima. Bartlett Sher’s production is charming with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.
L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic-comedy film today – the joy is in the journey, and Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.