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The Elixir of Love at the ENO

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
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Forties and fifties retro is in at the moment, and it's not just the fashionistas who're picking up on this trend, the designers of this opera have too: it's set in, and around, an American diner during the 1950s. So expect a lot of cutesy curls and full skirts. And that's just on the girls.

Jonathan Miller is responsive for the setting, this is a quick revival of his popular production from last year. But the original composer of the programme was Donizetti's, who resided in Lombardy, Italy circa 1820, so actually titled it L'elisir d'amore, and Paris circa 1840, so would probably not have chosen the current design but there's a fair chance he would still have liked it. It's very charming and colourful, just like the opera.

More important than what it looks like, this opera is a cheerful evenings entertainment. A rural love triangle between the wealthy - and in this case Marilyn Monroe style Adina, a sergeant in the Marines and the local grease monkey, this story also stars a roving medical man who promises people magical cure-alls to their ailments including unrequited love. Put those four together with a town of locals who like a shindig, a wedding ceremony, a surprise inheritance and the promise that both beaus may soon have to ship off to war and you have a slightly farcical romp that has a story so familiar that it's easy for us modern folks to follow. Especially seeing as it's sung in English.

Soprano Sarah Tynan returns as the main love interest, but her beaus are this year replaced with tenor Ben Johnson and baritone Benedict Nelson.
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Why? En vogue and a lot of fun
When: Sep 15, 23, 28 & Oct 1, 4, 6, at 7.30pm | Sep 17 at 6.30pm | Sep 25 & Oct 8 at 3pm
Where: London Coliseum St. Martin's Lane London WC2N
Cost: From 32
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