San Francisco Opera Presents New Co-Production of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, November 19–December 9
Scenes from The Elixir of Love. Photos: Cory Weaver/Lyric Opera of Chicago
West Coast Premiere of Co-Production with Lyric Opera of Chicago
Conceived by Director Daniel Slater with Choreographer Tim Claydon
Ramón Tebar (conductor); Slávka Zámečníková (Adina); Pene Pati (Nemorino);
David Bizic (Belcore); Renato Girolami (Dulcamara); Arianna Rodriguez (Giannetta)
Conductor Ramón Tebar Makes Company Debut Leading Cast of Pene Pati, Slávka Zámečníková, Renato Girolami, David Bizic, Arianna Rodriguez
November 26 Performance Will Be Livestreamed
One-Night-Only Event The Elixir of Love Encounter on December 1
Tickets available at (415) 864-3330 and sfopera.com
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 20, 2023) — The final production of San Francisco Opera’s 2023 Fall Season marks the return Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (L’Elisir d’Amore) for a six-performance run at the War Memorial Opera House opening November 19. Conceived by director Daniel Slater with associate director and choreographer Tim Claydon, the updated setting for this delightful and heart-warming 1832 romance, with a libretto by Felice Romani, takes place on the Italian Riviera during the 1950s.
Samoan tenor Pene Pati, whose fast-rising international career began at San Francisco Opera, notably as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto (2017), bows as the lovable Nemorino, a role he debuted at the Paris Opera in 2021. One of the highlights of Donizetti’s opera is Nemorino’s famous Act II aria, “Una furtiva lagrima” (“A furtive tear”), which Pati recorded for his 2022 debut album for Warner Classics. Pati’s return to San Francisco follows his unforgettable Centennial Season opening night concert appearance last year and his last-minute role debut in 2019 as Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. About the latter performance, San Francisco Chronicle described him as possessing “that magical, indescribable charisma that radiates beyond the footlights and compels you to pay attention to everything he does.”
Pati is joined by several exciting artists making their first engagements with the Company. A frequent artist with the Vienna State Opera and Berlin State Opera, Slovak soprano Slávka Zámečníková, in her American debut, is the adorable but aloof Adina. Zámečníková’s busy season in Vienna includes engagements as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Micaela (Carmen), Nannetta (Falstaff), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Servilia (La Clemenza di Tito).
Serbian baritone David Bizic is the handsome military officer Belcore, with whom Adina flirts to stir Nemorino’s jealousy. Dulcamara, the “miracle” worker whose elixir provides the liquid courage Nemorino needs to express his true feelings, is performed by Italian baritone Renato Girolami, who received critical praise for his portrayal of the role earlier this year in Glyndebourne. First-year Adler Fellow soprano Arianna Rodriguez adds the role of Adina’s friend Giannetta to her repertoire. American tenor Jonah Hoskins, an ensemble member of the St. Gallen Theater in Switzerland, makes his house debut at the November 29 performance as Nemorino, a role he takes to Santa Fe Opera next year.
When Lyric Opera of Chicago presented this co-production of The Elixir of Love, WTTW called it “a delicious confection.” Robert Innes Hopkins, who designed San Francisco Opera’s new productions of Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s La Traviata, is the production designer. Simon Mills created the lighting designs. and Spanish conductor Ramón Tebar makes his Company debut leading the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in the same work that marked his debut with Barcelona’s Gran Theatre del Liceu. For that Elixir production, Spain’s Opera World said Tebar was “capable of sustaining with spirit and precision the tension of the singers and the passionate humor of the characters.” San Francisco Opera Chorus Director John Keene prepares the artists of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the six performances of The Elixir of Love are scheduled for November 19 (2 p.m.), 24 (7:30 p.m.), 26 (2 p.m.), 29 (7:30 p.m.); December 5 (7:30 p.m.) and 9 (7:30 p.m.), 2023.
FREE FIRST ACT WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, Saturday, November 4
Bearitone the Opera Bear invites children and families to meet a real opera singer! Join Bearitone, tenor Edward Graves and friends from San Francisco Opera for a morning of fun at the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater (4703 3rd St., San Francisco) on Saturday, November 4 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To celebrate the family-friendly opera The Elixir of Love, we will sing, dance, play games and make elixir snow cones. Each child will receive a San Francisco Opera goodie bag and an invitation to join Opera Cubs—the official fan club of Bearitone the Opera Bear—and parents will receive a discount code for upcoming San Francisco Opera events. To register for free, visit sfopera.com/rsvp/dec/elixir-first-act-workshop.
LIVESTREAM: The Elixir of Love, Sunday, November 26
San Francisco Opera offers livestreams for each of its productions during the 2023–24 Season. The Sunday, November 26 performance of The Elixir of Love will be livestreamed at 2 p.m. PT. The opera will also be available to watch on demand for 48 hours beginning on Monday, November 27 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets for the livestream and limited on-demand viewing are $27.50. For tickets and more information about livestreams, visit sfopera.com/digital.
Educator Marcia Green will provide a 20-minute overview of the opera 55 minutes prior to each performance in the Opera House auditorium for ticketholders. An audio recording of the talk will be available at sfopera.com/elixir.
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE ENCOUNTER, Friday, December 1
Building on the popular, half-opera, half-party Traviata Encounter in 2022, The Elixir of Love Encounter whisks guests away to the glamorous 1950s seaside Hotel Adina to experience the sexy world of Donizetti’s Italian comedy The Elixir of Love. The Encounter begins with act one of the opera, and the night continues in the lobby areas of the Opera House with custom cocktails, marvelous mischief and Instagram-worthy photo ops inspired by the balmy Mediterranean setting of the opera. The one-night-only event is recommended for audiences ages 21 and over. For tickets and more information: sfopera.com/encounter.
*For the complete press release, including cast and calendar listing, open the PDF version above.