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The Elixir of Love

One Performance Only, December 1

The Elixir of Love Encounter

We invite you to travel to a glamorous 1950s seaside hotel to experience Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love in a part opera, part party, one-night-only event you’ll never forget.


A handsome young waiter with a dubious bottle of magic elixir, a quack salesman with a naughty opportunity, a suave officer in hot pursuit, and a gorgeous girl around whom all of this mayhem spins. Hop on your Vespa and travel to a glamorous 1950s seaside hotel on the Italian Riviera to immerse yourself in the sexy world of Donizetti’s raucous comedy The Elixir of Love and the beautiful Hotel Adina where it takes place.

Your Encounter begins with a fully-produced performance of Act 1, then explore the transformed Opera House lobbies, filled with custom cocktails, marvelous mischief, and spectacular selfies inspired by the balmy Mediterranean setting of the opera. Experience a sunny piazza, a glitzy casino, an elegant country villa, a boisterous beach club, and a naughty wine cellar hideout with a dance floor presided over by none other than the legendary Juanita MORE! With unique surprises around every corner, you’ll enjoy la dolce vita all night long. 

Part opera, part party, all fire. Don your finest European resort attire or come as you are and get ready to dance, drink, and revel the night away.  Don’t miss this one-night-only, only-in-San Francisco event that you’ll want to share with friends old and new!

The Evening

Doors open to the themed lobby spaces at 6:30pm.

The performance of Act 1 of The Elixir of Love begins at 7:30pm and is performed with full orchestra, chorus, and principal artists, just like our other performances. The act runs approximately 70 minutes. Only Act 1 of the opera will be performed.

Following Act 1, the action moves from the auditorium to the Opera House lobbies and continues until the conclusion of the event at 11:30pm. Recommended 21+

At the end of the evening, walking groups led by friendly Civic Center Ambassadors will depart for BART, Muni, Civic Center Garage, and UC Law Garage every half-hour between 10 and 11:30pm.

Are you ready to upgrade your experience at Hotel Adina?

With your selection of Box seats for the performance, you are invited to an exclusive pre-performance reception in the Box Lobby 6:30-7:30pm, which will include complimentary sparkling wine, small bites, and pre-access to the casino tables. After the performance, Box ticket holders will have special access to the luxurious Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Intermezzo Lounge with a dedicated cash bar.

The Lobby Experiences

During Act 1 of The Elixir of Love, a classic love triangle unfolds; will our headstrong young hotel owner, Adina, end up with sweet, romantic waiter Nemorino, or fall in with the dashing yet arrogant Officer Belcore? Ponder the question as you explore the transformed lobby spaces of the Opera House, which will come alive after the performance with entertainments, special guests, and delights for all the senses. Will you enjoy an Aperol spritz in a beach cabana, or is dancing in a dark, sultry wine cellar more your thing? Experience everything on offer at Hotel Adina to discover your elixir of choice!

More about your visit to Hotel Adina

• Some lobby experiences may contain adult content; recommended for audiences ages 21 and over.

• Please note, only Act 1 of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love will be performed at the Encounter.

• Themed food, beer, wine, and specialty cocktails will be available for purchase throughout the lobby spaces.  

• Please note that, while the themed lobbies will open to all ticket holders at 6:30pm, some of the entertainments won’t begin until after the performance of Act 1.

• Attire inspired by the 1950s Italian setting of the opera is welcomed, but please ensure your fabulous outfit will not impact the enjoyment of the opera by fellow guests.


Lacking money, confidence and hope, a timid young waiter Nemorino gambles everything he has for a chance at an intoxicating romance with the alluring Adina.

Courtesy of Opera North

* San Francisco Opera Debut

Daniel Slater production

A co-production of San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, originally created by Opera North, UK


Audio clips are from the 2008 cast of The Elixir of Love with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Bruno Campanella.

“Quanto è bella, quanto è cara”/Ramón Vargas (Nemorino); “Elisir di sì perfetta”/Inva Mula (Adina) and the San Francisco Opera Chorus; “Ecco il magico liquore”/Alessandro Corbelli (Dulcamara) and Ramón Vargas (Nemorino); “Io son ricco e tu sei bella”/Alessandro Corbelli (Dulcamara) and Inva Mula (Adina); “Una furtiva lagrima”/Ramón Vargas (Nemorino)



The Elixir of Love Encounter is made possible, in part, by the Creative Edge Fund with major support from founding funders Carol and Dixon Doll, Peter Fenton and Kate Greer, and Bob Ellis.

The Elixir of Love is made possible, in part, by Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson; the San Francisco Opera Guild; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.