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A new take on Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love comes to the King's Head Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING their critically acclaimed productions of Carmen, La Traviata and La bohème, the King’s Head Theatre joins forces with acclaimed Welsh opera company Opera D’draig for a quirky, romantic and enchanting new take on Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.

Presented in English as The Elixir of Love, it runs at the Islington venue from September 25 to October 26, 2019.

Originally set in the basquie country of Northern Spain in the 1870s, this new English version transposes the action to the Italian immigrant community in the Welsh seaside town of Barry Island, in 1982. As the Falklands war gains momentum and Thatcherism ravages the UK, can lovelorn poet Nemorion win the affections of the charismatic Adina?

As part of their commitment to open up opera to as many people as possible, there will be a special performance for local primary school children as part of Islington Council’s 11 by 11 scheme and discount tickets will be available to under 30’s and the unwaged on select performances throughout the run.

The King’s Head Theatre has established itself as the home of accessible, high quality opera on the fringe, with La bohème nominated for Best Opera Production at the 2018 Olivier Awards.

The production will be directed by Hannah Noone, recent Staff Director on the National Theatre and Theatr Clwyd’s production of Home, I’m Darling by Laura Wade, and a graduate of King’s Head Theatre’s award-winning Trainee Resident Director’s scheme. The libretto is written by Chris Harris and Charles Court Opera’s Musical Director David Eaton. Amanda Mascarenhas, an Associate Artist of the King’s Head Theatre, returns for her fifth production at the venue as Designer.

Of the production, Director Hannah Noone said: “I’m delighted to be back at the King’s Head Theatre to direct this exciting new version of Donizetti’s timeless rom-com The Elixir of Love. This is an idea we’ve developed with welsh playwright Chris Harris and it feels genuinely thrilling to be able to share it with audiences at the King’s Head Theatre, in a co-production with Opera’r Ddraig.”

To book tickets, call the box office on 0207 226 8561 or visit