Elixir in Niagara?

James Robinson’s production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore was designed for various American regional houses.  It has been updated to 1914ish and been given “regionalization” tweaks in the towns in which it has appeared.  The version that opened at the COC last night has been transported to small town Ontario, Niagara on the Lake perhaps, during a Fall Fair.  There’s a bit of a problem.  The iconography; Kitchener recruiting posters, steel helmets etc, clearly place the action during, rather than before, WW1.  Maybe an American director just doesn’t get, or doesn’t care about the implications but Adina buying Nemorino out of the army for example would hardly have been seen as virtuous in the white feather infested British Empire of 1914.  Fortunately most of the audience either didn’t get it or didn’t care either and frankly even persnickety me was prepared to let it go and just enjoy the rather silly romp that we got.  After all, this is not the other opera about love potions!

17-18-02-MC-D-0182

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