Donato Cabrera

L'Elisir d'Amore at Berkeley Opera

* Notes *
The 2008 season of Berkeley Opera opened last Saturday with a performance of the very silly opera L'Elisir d'Amore. The production is sweet, and the set only seemed to have two modes, one with one arch in the background and a few feet of stone wall, and another with three arches and a few feet less of stone wall. Of course, this was perfectly fine, elaborate scene changes are not necessary for L'Elisir. The costumes were pretty good, but the wigs were distractingly poor. Gianetta's dark red wig was styled à la Farrah Fawcett circa 1977, and Adina's ponyfall was too blond for the rest of her hair.

Angela Cadelago screeched a little in her first aria as Adina, but twittered along nicely for the rest of the opera. Andrew Truett acted the part of Nemorino very well, but his voice was a little quiet. He was especially funny when dancing around the stage in Act I Scene 2, when he moonwalked for a few seconds. Torlef Borsting (Belcore) was weak in his higher range, but his voice was pretty otherwise. Paul Cheak was quite amusing as Dulcamara, though his voice is a bit breathy. It was an altogether entertaining evening.

* Tattling *
The fake ficus tree was knocked over in Act I, Scene 1, but was promptly put back up by a chorus member. I overheard a hilarious conversation during intermission which covered the Ring (large women wearing breastplates shrieking in German) and Funny Games (one would be concerned if it was recommended by a friend because of what would that might mean about that person).