Scottish Opera puts The Elixir of Love on screen

Published: 29 May 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Catriona Hewitson in L'elisir d'amore Credit: James Glossop
Roland Wood in L'elisir d'amore Credit: James Glossop

Scottish Opera's film of Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) is the latest Scottish Opera: On Screen, filmed at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 22 May 2021 and available to watch from Thursday 17 June. BBC Radio Scotland will feature excerpts as part of a special Classics Unwrapped on Sunday 13 June.

Director Roxana Haines, who has set the production in the Austen era, said, "setting the narrative twenty years earlier means we can relocate it to Regency England, a time when social distancing was part of social etiquette, allowing us to embrace this as the norm in the film. This era, most familiar to us through Jane Austen's novels, was laced with obsessions with social status and romance across class boundaries, all perfectly mirrored in Donizetti's comedy."

The cast includes guest principal Roland Wood (La bohème 2020, Tosca 2019) and three 2020/21 Scottish Opera Emerging Artists: Catriona Hewitson as Adina, Shengzhi Ren as Nemorino and Arthur Bruce as Belcore. Elena Garrido Madrona from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Alexander Gibson Opera School is Giannetta. Stuart Stratford conducts the cast along with a full-size Orchestra of Scottish Opera and an 18-strong chorus as upper class society.

Jonathan Haswell is film director, having previously worked on the Company’s Così fan tutte 2020 and Hansel and Gretel 2021. An audio described version will also be made available.