‘The Elixir of Love’ opera casts its spell on San Diego, Feb. 21 and 23


Is it truly a magic elixir or just a bottle of cheap Bordeaux? Nemorino (Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti) desperately wants to marry the wealthy Adina (Moldovan soprano Tatiana Lisnic) who seems out of his league. When she attracts a handsome Sergeant (Malcolm MacKenzie) as her suitor, Nemorino turns in desperation to the charlatan Dr. Dulcamara (John Del Carlo) who claims to have an “elixir of love.”

He spends all his money on the elixir and has to enlist to get cash for more. When Dr. Dulcamara tells the village girls that Nemorino is suddenly rich, they all chase after him, so Nemorino knows the potion works. But it takes more than an elixir to win Adina’s heart.

Filled with tender love songs and fun duets, “The Elixir of Love” by composer Gaetano Donizetti, is a perfect example of opera buffa. It will be presented by San Diego Opera in Italian with English supertitles above the stage, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd Ave. Tickets from $45 at (619) 533-7000 and

Note: 30-minute informative lectures take place in the theater one hour prior to performances with insider details about the show; free to ticket holders.