The Elixir of Love the perfect showcase for Pene Pati and Amina Edris


An exciting cast flies in from around the globe this week to begin rehearsals for Donizetti’s comic masterpiece The Elixir of Love, an opera chosen especially to showcase the talents of San Francisco-based Kiwis Pene Pati (Sol3 Mio) and Amina Edrisas the hapless Nemorino and his lady love Adina.

New Zealand Opera General Director Stuart Maunder says the company is delighted to bring Pene and Amina home at this stage in their careers following their participation in the prestigious Merola programme and time as Adler Fellows in San Francisco.

“Pene and Amina are starting to be booked by some of the biggest opera companies in the world and we’re very excited to have secured them for their New Zealand Opera debuts together as our romantic leads in Simon Phillip’s wacky, irreverent and totally joyful production.

“Elixir is the ideal vehicle for this talented couple and I know audiences will be delighted by their extraordinary voices and trademark charm as they share the stage with a small but perfectly formed principal cast and the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus.”

Pati and Edris will be joined by London-based Australian/New Zealand baritone Morgan Pearse as Belcore, Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist Natasha Wilson as Giannetta and Conal Coad returns to his New Zealand roots from his home on the Gold Coast to reprise his role as the quack doctor Dulcamara, a role he originated in this production.

“In this production we have four extremely talented young singers who make their role debuts alongside the wonderful veteran bass Conal Coad, who has made the role his own in this production and in many other productions around the globe," Maunder says.

Set in an antipodean country town during World War One, this production was created for Opera Australia by another New Zealand export, Director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, Muriel’s Wedding, La bohème).

The Elixir of Love features the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus and orchestra partners Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington under the baton of New Zealand Opera’s Director of Music Wyn Davies, returning to the first opera of his conducting career and a firm favourite.

The Elixir of Love
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
May 31, June 2 & 7 at 7.30pm
June 9 at 5pm

Opera House
June 23, 28 & 30 at 7.30pm
26 at 6.30pm

Adina Amina Edris
Nemorino Pene Pati
Belcore Morgan Pearse
Dr Dulcamara Conal Coad
Giannetta Natasha Wilson

Creative Team
Conductor Wyn Davies
Director Simon Phillips
Restage Director Matthew Barclay
Assistant Director Jacqueline Coats
Designer Michael Scott-Mitchell
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Costume Designer Gabriela Tylesova

About The Elixir of Love
An opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Italian libretto by Felice Romani, after Eugène Scribe's libretto for Daniel Auber's Le philtre (1831). The Elixir of Love premiered on 12 May 1832 at the Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan.

Donizetti’s bel canto comedy, The Elixir of Love is as charming as it is funny. Nemorino is a likeable but hopeless romantic who has fallen in love with the bold and quick-witted Adina. She isn’t won over by his pleas of love and things get worse when she has an offer of marriage from the self-important Sergeant Belcore. When a dubious salesman, Dulcamara, rolls into town he offers Nemorino what seems like the perfect solution – The Elixir of Love.

Pene Pati – of Sol3 Mio fame – and Amina Edris, return to New Zealand from San Francisco Opera, bringing their natural charisma and warmth to the roles of Nemorino and Adina. As Dulcamara, Conal Coad showcases his outstanding comedic abilities and is joined by rising-star Morgan Pearse as Belcore.

Wyn Davies returns to conduct this sentimental masterpiece.

Set in an Antipodean country town at the turn of the 20th century, Simon Phillip's production of The Elixir of Love beautifully captures this opera’s light-hearted humour.

The performance lasts approximately two hours and twenty five minutes, including an interval of twenty minutes. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. An Opera Australia production.