When he directs the pastoral world of the proud Adina and the tender Nemorino, Donizetti touches a sensitive spot in the spectator. Nevertheless, he gives the story a fine sense of humour. After all, what is more moving but also more comic than the fragile space between a man and a woman linked by a love potion? In the hands of this master of all genres, ranging from great tragedies to entertainment, the comic opera can appear sentimental. Donizetti’s biggest popular success allies lightness and depth, and keeps the spectator’s heart in a state of permanent palpitation. Should we rely on titillation from a distance or the sincerity of devotion? And what if the latter was uncoupled by the effect of a deceptive potion? Finally, we watch the triumph of perseverance and honesty, even if the ‘furtive tear’ appearing in Adina’s sceptical eye takes a few attempts to transform into a torrent. A smooth dramaturgy of the most mysterious of human feelings, this work has not left the repertoire since its triumphant creation and among audiences it has caused great excitement for centuries. Donizetti’s masterpiece can be used like a musical elixir – to be consumed without moderation.
Libretto by Felice Romani based on the libretto by Eugène Scribe
First performed at the Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan, May 12, 1832
Editions G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen- und Musikverlag GmbH, Berlin
Born in Moldova, Valentina Nafornita is one of the most beloved sopranos of her generation. Shortly after graduating from the National University of Music of Bucharest in Romania, Nafornita won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and began her international career. As a member of the young ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, she was able to develop an extensive repertoire, including Musetta of La Bohème, Susanna of The Marriage of Figaro, Pamina of The Magic Flute, Norina of Don Pasquale, Zerlina of Don Giovanni, Adina of L’Elisir d’Amore, Najade of Ariadne in Naxos, Clorinda of La Cenerentola, and even Oscar of Un Ballo in Maschera. In 2020-21, she will perform the leading role of Micaëla in Carmen at the Opéra National de Paris. Nafornita regularly works with prestigious conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Ádám Fischer, Louis Langrée, Jesús López-Cobos, Franz Welser-Möst, and Simone Young. She played Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte) in 2019 and Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) in 2022 at the Opéra de Lausanne.
Paolo Fanale made his debut in the role of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) at Padua. He has since performed at La Scala, the Metropolitan, Royal Opera House, the Opéra de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Dresden Semperoper, Opera di Roma, at the Salzburg Festival, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia… His vast repertoire includes the title roles in Faust and La clemenza di Tito, Fenton (Falstaff), Hylas (Les Troyens), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Tebaldo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Gennaro (Lucrezia Borgia), Grimoaldo (Rodelinda), Nicias (Thaïs), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Il duca di Mantova (Rigoletto), and Nadir (Les pêcheurs de perles).
At the Opéra de Lausanne: the title-role in Faust (2016), and Tito in La clemenza di Tito (2018).
The Italian baritone Giorgio Caoduro has quickly become one of the best singers of his generation. He has performed with conductors such as Carlo Rizzi, Jesús López Cobos, Riccardo Frizza, Bruno Bartoletti, Daniel Harding, Bruno Campanella, Nicola Luisotti, James Conlon, Michel Plasson and Zubin Mehta. He has worked with directors Pier Luigi Pizzi, Jérôme Savary, Massimo Ranieri, Irina Brook, Sir Peter Hall, Luca Ronconi, Stefano Vizioli, Francisco Negrin, Marco Bellocchio and Laurent Pelly. His recent engagements include L’Italiana in Algeri and La Bohème at the Berlin Staatsoper and in Aix-en-Provence; Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Opéra de Paris; La Cenerentola at the Glyndebourne Festival, Frankfurt and Paris. Giorgio Caoduro has taken part in the film production of Rigoletto in Mantua with Plácido Domingo and Zubin Mehta. In 2012 he received the Australian Green Room Award for best opera singer of the year.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Marco in Gianni Schicchi (2004), Gaudenzio in Il signor Bruschino (2004), Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia (2014), and Dandini in La Cenerentola (2015).
Having graduated in scenography from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Adriano Sinivia went to Paris to study in the circus schools and mime school of Annie Fratellini and Marcel Marceau. His work directing Mezz’ora di luna and Una delle ultime sere di Carnovale for the Venice Biennale launched his career as interpreter and creator. His first job directing opera was at the Opéra de Paris with Stradella by César Franck, followed by Les contes d’Hoffmann, Falstaff, Carmen, The Cunning Little Vixen, Les saltimbanques, White Horse Inn, La cambiale di matrimonio, Il signor Bruschino and many others, at numerous opera houses. Recently, for the theatre, he directed L’emberlificoteur by Carlo Goldoni, Arloc by Serge Kribus, New York City by David Mamet, and The Green Bird by Carlo Gozzi. He is currently participating in several productions as an actor.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Monsieur de Pourceaugnac (2007), Il barbiere di Siviglia (2009 and 2014), L’elisir d’amore (2012), La Cenerentola (2015), and Die Fledermaus (2018).
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in the Italian Language in 2014, Laurène Paternò joined Lausanne’s University of Music in Stephan MacLeod’s class; in 2017, she also enrolled in the Master’s degree course there as a solo performer. As part of her course, she participated in a musical creation performed in Rio de Janeiro during the opening week of the 2016 Olympic Games. She won the 1st place prize at the Concours du Kattenburg. She sang in the roles of Sister Blanche of the Agony of Christ in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, the latter conducted by Leonardo Garcìa Alarcón. Both operas were produced by the University of Music of Lausanne. In 2019, she sings in the roles of Sofiya and Yelena in Laïka, le chien de l’espace of Russell Hepplewhite, an opera for kids at the Nouvel Opéra of Fribourg. She performed in concert, accompanied by the group Gli Angeli Genève, l’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and l’Orchestre de Chambre Fribourgeois, in a sacred and operatic repertoire.
In an Opéra de Lausanne production in Bhutan, at the inauguration of the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan in 2018, she sang Serpina in La serva padrona, and in 2019 Mélusine in Les Chevaliers de la Table ronde of Hervé. She was to play the role of Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore in 2020.
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is a core group of about forty chorists who are, for the most part, students from singing or professional specialisation classes at the Lausanne Conservatory or other conservatories in Western Switzerland. Chorists are selected by audition and periodically reviewed. Choir directors are chosen from among the most experienced and vary for each performance.
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is regularly hired by orchestras and festivals in Switzerland and abroad: Création by Haydn (December 2003 – conductor Jerzy Semkow) and Stabat Mater by Rossini (February 2006 – conductor Corrado Rovaris) as a part of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra season, Roland by Lully (concert version) at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, at the Opéra de Montpellier and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Bruxelles (January 2004 – Talens Lyriques orchestra – conductor Christophe Rousset), Die Entführung aus dem Serail concert version at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (January 2005), La grotta di Trofonio (concert version) at the Théâtre de Poissy (March 2005 – Talens Lyriques, conductor Christophe Rousset), Nocturnes by Debussy at the 2007 Montreux Septembre musical (RSO Berlin – conductor Marek Janowski).
In 2008 and 2010 the choir performed as part of the OCL season under the baton of Christian Zacharias: Te Deum by Bruckner (February 2008), Les Noces by Stravinski (December 2008, also in Saint-Gall) and Beethoven’s IXe Symphony (April 2010).
The Choir has also been on many tours with Opéra de Lausanne productions: Opéra de Vichy (Rigoletto in 2005, Il Turco in Italia in 2006, La veuve joyeuse in 2007, Carmen in 2008, Amelia al ballo in 2008 under the direction of Arie Van Beek and La Traviata in 2009 conducted by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli), Opéra Comique (Amelia al ballo by Menotti in March 2007). In October 2008, the Opéra de Lausanne and its choir toured Japan for five performances of Carmen.
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is featured on several CDs: Le Nez by Chostakovitch, Roland by Lully and La grotta di Trofonio by Salieri. The Choir was also involved in televised performances on RTS of La fille de Madame Angot, La Belle Hélène and, for the reopening of the Opéra, L’elisir d’amore.
Musical director at the Opera of Philadelphia and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Corrado Rovaris is also principal conductor of the chamber orchestra I Virtuosi Italiani. In 2018-2019 he opened the season at the Opera of Philadelphia with a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor directed by Laurent Pelly, followed by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and La Bohème. He conducted the world premiere of Glass Handel (with music by Handel and Philip Glass). Involved in promoting new musical works, Corrado Rovaris recently conducted the world premieres of Elizabeth Cree by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, and Written on Skin by George Benjamin at the Opera of Philadelphia. During the 2018-2019 season he also conducted La clemenza di Tito with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and at the Opera of Oviedo. He is a Knight of the Order of Merit of Italy and in 2016 won the Franco Abbiati prize.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Rigoletto (2000), Luisa Miller (2001), La Bohème (2003), Il Signor Bruschino and Gianni Schicchi (2004), Otello (2010), and La Traviata (2015).
Enzo Iorio studied architecture in Naples. He pursued training in costume, makeup, interior design and set design, in Europe, as well as in India and Africa. Passionate about music, he took part in different research groups before getting into theatre both in France and Italy. As a videographer, he has worked on advertisements and documentaries about architecture and theatre, and on video creations for dance. Alongside this work, he pursued his research in graphic arts and went to live in Paris, where he began designing sets and costumes for plays, the circus and opera, in partnership with various artists and directors. He has worked for years with Adriano Sinivia, who he produced two operettas with for the Capitole de Toulouse, Les saltimbanques and L’Auberge du Cheval blanc.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Monsieur de Pourceaugnac (2007), Il barbiere di Siviglia (2009), L’elisir d’amore (2012), Il barbiere di Siviglia, also in the role of Ambrogio (2014), La Cenerentola (2015).
Fabrice Kebour is one of the most prolific lighting designers of his generation. Over the past twenty years, his work has been presented in Europe, Japan, the USA, the Middle East and Canada. He has designed the lighting in the most prestigious theatres such as the Comédie Française, the Opéra National de Paris, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bregenzer Festpiele, the Teatro Alla Scala, the Verona Arenas and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. In 2006, he was in charge of lighting for the Olympic opening ceremonies and the closing ceremony for the Asian games of Doha, and took part in Light steaks, an international exhibit organized in 2011 by the Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space which looked at lighting designers who have impacted their generation. He was nominated for the Molière for best lighting designer for Camille C in 2005, Baby Doll in 2009 and Pluie d’Enfer in 2011.
At the Opéra de Lausanne : Il barbiere di Siviglia (2009 and 2014), L’elisir d’amore (2012), Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (2014,) the world premiere of Le Petit Prince (2014).