L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love)
November 13, 2015
The Elixir of Love, one of Donizetti’s most popular operas, including The Daughter of the Regiment, Don Pasquale, and Lucia di Lammermoor (which will have its first Opera Western Reserve production in November 2017) "Elixir" was written when he was thirty-four years old. It was the fortieth of the seventy operas which are credited to his name, an impressive record for a man who died at the relatively young age of 51. It has been a favorite of many of opera's brightest stars including Enrico Caruso, Lucianno Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Roberta Peters, Joan Southerland, and, most recently Anna Netrebko. The opera is a romantic comedy concerning the poor farm boy, Nemorino, who is in love with the beautiful, but unresponsive, Adina, a local landowner. She seems to be bedazzled by the dashing and boastful Sgt. Belcore much to Nemorino’s chagrin. A traveling medicine showman, the illustrious Dr. Dulcamara arrives touting his medicine, which he proclaims is the cure for all ills. Nemorino asks him if he has the magic elixir that made the mythical Isolda fall in love with Tristan at first sight. The doctor said, “Of course, I do!” and concocts one on the spot. Will this magic elixir work before the wedding of Adina with Sgt. Belcore? Is it the reason all the girls in town suddenly find him irresistible? Is Dr. Dulcamara truly a magician of medicine? Opera Western Reserve is delighted that Ballet Western Reserve, and its Artistic Director/Choreographer, Staś Kmieć, and his dancers will be joining us again for this production.
Adina - Randa Rouweyha
Randa Rouweyha, soprano, continues to enthrall audiences and earn high critical acclaim for her beautiful light lyric voice, her commanding stage presence, and her remarkable acting abilities. In her recent portrayal of Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, DC Theatre Scene declared “soprano Randa Rouweyha sings with exquisite purity of tone and ringing clarity”; and hailed her performance of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata by stating,“Simply put, Rouweyha is this production. Or, at least it’s all her and Verdi’s timeless music.” Randa has sung with numerous prestigious opera companies, including Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. A native of Ohio, and a proud graduate of Youngstown State University and Peabody Conservatory, Randa was last heard at Stambaugh Auditorium as Rosina opposite renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s Count Almaviva in Opera Western Reserve’s production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Randa is pleased and honored to return to her hometown to sing Adina in this exciting new production of The Elixir of Love.
Nemorino - Pedro Willis-Barbosa
Pedro Willis-Barbosa, tenor, was born in Bahia, Brasil, but raised all over the U.S. Pedro studied music at Northern Illinois University and Louisiana State University. A current resident of Cincinnati, OH, Pedro will be making his role debut as Nemorino in Opera Western Reserve’s production of The Elixir of Love. He has sung with Opera for the Young in The Magic Flute and Pirates of Penzance, Opera Louisiana in La cenerentola and L’elisir d’amore, various scenes at Des Moines Metro Opera, Romeo et Juliette at Tulsa Opera, La Bohéme at Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera East Texas, various churches and private events. Pedro was also a member of Young Artist Programs at Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Louisiane, and Cedar Rapids.
Dr. Dulcamara - Jason Budd
Jason Budd recently made his South American debut as the title character in Verdi's Falstaff with Theatro São Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil. His performances have garnered praise all over the globe, particularly in his specialty, the buffo roles. Other recent engagements include the title role in Britten's Noyes Fludde with Fremont Opera, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Kecal in The Bartered Bride both with Boston Midsummer Opera, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Western Reserve where he shared the stage with his college friend Lawrence Brownlee, and performances in Detroit, Toledo, Maine, Cleveland and California. This summer he returned to Boston Midsummer Opera for their production of Flotow’s Martha and was just seen as Scarpia in Valley Lyric Opera's production of Tosca, with whom he has directed several productions including La Bohème, La Traviata and Rigoletto.
Belcore - Michael Young
Michael Young, baritone, is a native of Cortland, OH. Praised for his dark molten tones, he is described as an authentic Verdi baritone. Michael attended The University of Cincinnati’s College- Conservatory of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. Recent operatic engagements include Alberich in Wagner’s Siegfried, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, George Milton in Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, Masetto/Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Musiklehrer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Recent concert performances include baritone solos in Carmina Burana, Faure’s Requiem, Durufle’s Requiem, and the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Michael was awarded First Prize at the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, and is a two time winner in The Corbett Vocal Scholarship Competi- tion, as well as the CCM Undergraduate Vocal Scholarship Competition. Michael is on faculty at The West Chester Academy of Music and The Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble Institute of Music. He also performs as an ensemble member and soloist with The Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble. Upcoming Engagements include Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Gianetta - Kathleen Bachtel
Kathleen Bachtel (soprano) a native of Massillon, OH, is a second year graduate student of Vocal Performance at Youngstown State University. Throughout her college career, she has performed in numerous operas and scenes, both as a student and as a member of Opera Western Reserve's Young Artist Program. Notable roles include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Valencienne (The Merry Widow), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), and Norina (Don Pasquale). Kathleen was last seen as Rosalinda in YSU's production of Die Fledermaus. Her accolades include 2014 winner of Mu Phi Epsilon's "Concerto and Aria Competition," premier soloist for Dr. Daniel Perttu's A Deo Datus, featured soprano for the Renova Music Festival, and is a 5-time VOCI Scholar.z
Notary/Assistant Director - Robert Pierce
Robert Pierce is entering his seventh year of involvement with Opera Western Reserve and his third year as the company's Educational Outreach Director. In addition to directing and performing in past Young Artist productions of La Bohéme, Don Giovanni, The Three Little Pigs, and The Impresario, he has sung roles in past mainstage productions of La Bohème, The Barber of Seville, Tosca, and La Traviata. A native of the Cleveland area, Robert is an experienced performer of opera and musical theater on local stages, such as Cleveland Opera Theater, Valley Lyric Opera, Great Lakes Light Opera, Nightingale Opera Theater, Lakeland Civic Theater, Beck Center for the Arts, and Cleveland Institute of Music. Opera credits include Tosca, The Apothecary, Ariadne auf Naxos, Street Scene, La Rondine, La Vida Breve, The Pirates of Penzance, and Madame Butterfly. Musical theater credits include Violet, Sunday in the Park with George, Mary Poppins, Jerry Springer: The Opera, She Loves Me, and Kiss Me, Kate. Robert received degrees in vocal performance from Otterbein University and Cleveland Institute of Music..