Hannah DeVries – Staff Writer
Just in time for Valentines, the Des Moines Metro Opera’s touring group OPERA Iowa is presenting The Elixer of Love in the B.J. Haan Auditorium Tuesday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m.
Adina denies Nemorino’s love and instead flirts with Sergeant Balcore, going so far as to accept his early proposal of marriage. Nemorino despairs and goes in search of anything to help him make Adina fall for him instead. One fake doctor, a jealous peasant girl, and a bottle of elixir later, and the drama begins to unfold.The opera, Elixir of Love, is composed by Donizetti, one of the most prolific opera composers, acclaimed for writing about seventy works within the space of twenty-five years. The story follows Nemorino, a peasant boy in love with Adina, a wealthy but capricious girl bored with the country life.
Professor of music Benjamin Kornelis said that The Elixer of Love is an accessible opera because it is in English and has a strong storyline. “The performers are all pretty young, for the most part,” he said. “And the music isn’t anything out of the ordinary.”
“We have a lot of students who study voice at Dordt, but we don’t have an active opera program and this is a good opportunity for them to see opera in action, and to bring that genre of music out into the community,” said Kornelis.
“I’m really excited about it,” said senior Rachel De Boer, a K-12 Education and Music: Choral Music Education major. “I’m actually considering a piece from the opera they will be performing, so it will be neat to hear it live. Dordt is lucky to have a group of this caliber on campus!”
“This will be a chance to experience a musical genre that isn’t often available here, and I’m hoping that a lot of people from the community will have the opportunity to come and hear it,” said senior Leanna Bentz, a K-12 Education and Music: Choral/Instrumental Ed. major. “I hope to attend; I’m not terribly familiar with the genre, but I think that it will be interesting to see.”
The opera is conventional, evoking the charm of the Italian countryside with music described by the Des Moines Metro Opera as “a pure delight.” One song, “Una furtive lagrima,” is called “the most famous moment in the opera and one of the best-loved of all operatic arias.”
OPERA Iowa has performed in nine different states throughout the Midwest. The group has traveled to Japan, China, and gone onstage in front of more than 700,000 students and adults. OPERA Iowa is an Education Division program of Des Moines Metro Opera, located in Indianola, Iowa.