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L'elisir d'amore - King's Head Theatre

L'Elisir d'Amore

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OperaUpClose is presenting Thomas Eccleshare’s new English version of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) at the King’s Head Theatre – from February 5 to March 16, 2013.

Adina is the hottest star in Hollywood and Nemorino adores her. When an ambitious army officer makes a very public proposal to her, Nemorino is in despair, until Dulcamara, the smooth-talking stylist, comes to his rescue with a remedy which he promises will win Adina once and for all.

According to press material, Donizetti’s warm-hearted opera fizzes with wit, great tunes and a keen-eyed dissection of the way love can confound even the cleverest of us.

Director Valentina Ceschi sets The Elixir of Love at a glamourous 1950s garden party at the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The cast includes Una Reynolds and Prudence Sanders (as Adina), Philip Lee and Alex Vearey-Roberts (Nemorino), Marc Callahan and Simon Meadows (Belcore), Matthew Stiff and Alistair Sutherland (Dulcamara) and Caroline Kennedy and Eleanor Ross (Gianetta).

Valentina Ceschi, co-artistic director of award-winning theatre company Dancing Brick, has previously worked with OperaUpClose on their Olivier Award-winning production of La Bohème. She was also movement director on their production of Don Giovanni at Soho Theatre (August 2011), and directed Manifest Destiny for the company at the King’s Head Theatre in September 2011.

The librettist Thomas Eccleshare is co-artistic director of Dancing Brick (along with Ceschi). In 2011, he won the Verity Bargate Award for new writing for his play Pastoral, and is now a resident writer at Soho Theatre.

The Elixir of Love has musical direction by John Gibbons, who previously worked with OperaUpClose on La Fanciulla del West in February 2012. He is the Chairman of the British Music Society, and will be recorchestrating L’elisir d’amore for a trio of instruments.

The Elixir of Love is designed by Kate Lane and has lighting by Benjamin Polya.

Tickets: £10 – £25 – available from the box office on 020 7478 0160 or online at

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.15pm, Sunday at 3pm.

Cross Purpose continues at the King’s Head Theatre until February 2, 2013.