Merola Opera Program's Elixir (Saturday)
Casting for the Merola Grand Finale 2010

Merola Opera Program's Elixir (Sunday)

Alexander Lewis as Nemorino, with Renée Rapier, Abigail Santos Villalobos, Janai Orman, Rebecca Davis, Robin Flynn, and Colleen Brooks; photo by Kristen Loken * Notes *
The matinée performance of the Merola Opera Program's L'elisir d'Amore yesterday was completely sold out. We had yet again a slightly different cast than before, as Alexander Lewis (Nemorino) was well enough to sing, but Sidney Outlaw (Dulcamara) was not. Thomas Florio did an admirable job singing Dulcamara twice in less than 24 hours. No fatigue seemed to show in his voice.

As Gianetta, Abigail Santos Villalobos pierced through the chorus and orchestra in Act I. Ao Li was really quite funny as Belcore, and lovable, but still appropriately obnoxious. Valentina Fleer sang Adina fluidly, her phrasing was especially beautiful in "Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera." There was a brief moment in Act II where she could not be heard over the orchestra. Alexander Lewis sang Nemorino with warmth, even though his voice has a bit of a metallic quality to it. He did strain a little, but his "Una furtiva lagrima" was pretty. His background in musical theater is clear, and his dancing impeccable.

* Tattling *
The audience was enthusiastic. There were watch alarms at each hour and seagulls could be occasionally heard during the quiet parts of the music.