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Utah Opera: Elixir of Love

Not necessarily the first name that may pop into the head of the lay classical listener, Gaetano Donizetti was a 19th-century Italian composer who couldn’t help but put inked quill to paper. If his name doesn’t quite ring the memory chimes, rest assured that his prolific nature aided him in fashioning 75 operas, 16 symphonies and any number of duets, oratorios and cantatas.

Due in part to that inexhaustible creativity, Donizetti is considered to have created masterpieces in almost every vein. Utah Opera has picked his comic opera from 1832, L’elisir d’amore (Elixir of Love), which is widely considered to be his best, most popular work—it ranks among the top dozen operas performed worldwide—as the core of its spring offerings.

The acclaimed work uses Tristan & Isolde as a loose frame to tell a tale of a young peasant madly in unrequited love. He turns to a magic potion proffered by a traveling charlatan for help in winning the heart of a wealthy and stunningly beautiful landowner. Toss in a competing sergeant, the wiles of a snake-oil salesman and the everlasting foolishness of love, and you’ve indeed got a timeless operatic classic.

Even though untrained ears may not at first be familiar with the name of the Italian great, any casual opera listener will know one of the most popular arias in all of opera history, “Una furtiva lagrima” (“A Furtive Tear”), that comes straight from the enduring universal truths laid bare in Elixir of Love. (Jacob Stringer)

Utah Opera: Elixir of Love @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South,

801-355-2787, March 10-16, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matinee March 18, $16-$85.,

Date: Mar 12, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm
Phone: 801-355-2787
Address: 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Capitol Theatre