Experience a different high as one of the greatest comic gems in opera, L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) featuring Russian operatic soprano Anna Netrebko, in high definition (HD) video and full dolby sound at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tangahalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) on May 28, at 2:00PM and 7:00PM. L’Elisir d’Amore is the third of five encore performances of the latest season of The Met presented by the CCP and the Metropolitan Opera (The Met) in cooperation with the Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines.

Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in Bartlett Sher’s new production, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino. Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir. Maurizio Benini conducts. Critics cite L’Elisir d’Amore for its “handsome and insightful new staging”, as well as describe it as fascinating for the psychologically charged take on the said opera.

At the age of 24, Anna Netrebko made her American debut in 1995 as Lyudmila in Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila at the San Francisco Opera. Following this successful performance, she became a frequent guest singer in San Francisco. She is known as an acclaimed interpreter of other Russian operatic roles, such as Natasha in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, Louisa in Betrothal in a Monastery and Marfa in The Tsar’s Bride. Netrebko has also made successful forays into bel canto and romantic roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, Mimi in La bohème, Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Elvira in I puritani. Nicknamed “La Bellissima” by fans, Time magazine also placed her on its Time 100 list in 2007. She was identified by the journal Musical America as “a genuine superstar for the 21st century” and was named ‘Musician of the Year’ for 2008. She has also been described by Associated Press as “the reigning new diva of the 21st century”. She was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2004. Playboy magazine placed her in their “sexiest babes of classical music” list.

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An opera by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, L’Elisir d’Amore is a melodramma giocoso in two acts. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Daniel Auber’s Le philtre (1831). Written in haste, L’Elisir d’Amore was the most often performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848 and has remained continually in the international opera repertory. Today, it is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti’s operas. There are a large number of recordings. It contains the popular aria “Una furtiva lagrima,” a romanza for the tenor that is one of the most famous and often-excerpted arias in all of opera. L’Elisir d’Amore also features three big duets between the tenor and soprano, making it one of the first operas (La Traviata, Tristan und Isolde, and La Bohème are others) that can be considered “duet operas”.

Other scheduled screenings of Met Opera productions for this year are Maria Stuarda (July 9), and The Tempest (August 20). All screenings are 2:00PM and 7:00PM.

Get the best seats at the MetOpera at the CCP. For information on subscription and ticket inquiries, call the CCP Box office at (+632) 8323704 or (+632) 8321125 local 1409, or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.