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Elisr D'amore by Donizetti performed in Utrecht, 12/13 June

Updated on August 12, 2015

City theatre Utrecht, Douwe Egberts hall

Rehearsal with horse in Donizetti's Elisir d'amore
Rehearsal with horse in Donizetti's Elisir d'amore | Source

The "small opera choir from Wilhelminapark" together with professional singers and Free University orchestra Amsterdam played in the city theatre of Utrecht. Theatre was full both nights; lucky to be there (on Saturday). The plot was written by Felice Romani in XIX century while it is located in late XVIII century. The opera premiered on 12 May 1832 at the Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan. The Dutch group seem to have understood mediterranean culture; and when I say that I mean it. In its deep roots. As there are elements that are typical of our strange and mysterious past: credulity, shrewd individuals, the army as a way to get outside misery missing everyday freedom.


An immersion in mediterranean world directed by Vincent van den Elshout, art teacher also famous for having displayed other classics Les Miserables, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. A simple unmovable set (in which fake cypresses were the main element) was enriched by the coming in scene of a living horse and the use of Ape Piaggio and three Vespa Piaggio. While the horse coming surprised and excited the whole public, I was probably the most used to these two Italian vehicles, very popular especially in the 60's and 70's but still common nowadays.

Old Italian Lira banknote with choir director Roel Vogel depicted

Actors were splendidly capable to play and sing together; there was no amplification as their natural voice could fill up the whole hall. An orchestra with 8 violins, a flute, 6 or 7 trumpets and other instruments was just under the stage and the count may be not so precise. In the famous romanza Una furtiva lacrima, the only music instrument was a classic guitar and it was played in the stage. For those who don't know the plot, the poor and simple Nemorino (Martijn van Baardewijk) falls in love with the learned Adina (Annelies van Hijfte). His love-rival Belcore (Stephan Mooijman) army officer, is in a better position to conquer her hearth. Doctor-charlatan Dulcamara (Marijn Zwitserlood) turns their sorts selling a miraculous elixir, good both for health and love; that actually isn't more than wine. Nobody discovers the illusion and he too starts to believe it works.

Action scene with Adina, Gianetta, Belcore and Nemorino



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    • Giovanni Fabbrini profile imageAUTHOR

      Giovanni Fabbrini 

      3 years ago from Florence

      Thanks. The fact of having Italian blood made me feel like that was my staff... wonderful.

    • Ernst Vuijk profile image

      Ernst Vuyk 

      3 years ago from Utrecht

      Thank you for one of the first comments in the publicity. I guess the group will appreciate the view from somebody who was raised in Abbadia San Salvatore, Toscany.


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