College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

UM Opera Theatre presents ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’

by Mary Virginia Portera, courtesy of The Daily Mississippian
April 24, 2014

Students perform in the dress rehearsal of L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) in Meek Auditorium on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  DM Photo/Phillip Waller

The dress rehearsal for L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) in Meek Hall Auditorium. DM Photo/Phillip Waller

The UM Opera Theatre is set to perform Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’Elisir D’Amore,” also known as “The Elixir of Love” in Meek Hall Auditorium this weekend.

The opera was popularized by Luciano Pavarotti, a prominent tenor. The performance will be an opera featuring both graduate and undergraduate students in the production.

Julia Aubrey, associate professor of music

Julia Aubrey, associate professor of music

Julia Aubrey, the production director, said that although operas are usually intimidating to those who do not know much about them, “The Elixir of Love” is a comic opera that all audiences will love.

Jacquelyn Skoog, who plays leading female character Idina, spoke to the attraction of this particular opera.

“‘Elixir of Love’ is a timeless story with enchanting music that is accessible to people of all ages,” Skoog said.

Aubrey added the story line is a romantic comedy in which the leading characters are tangled in a love triangle.

“There are machinations of the male leading character thinking he is going to get the girl but with a twist in the plot,” Aubrey said.

“The Elixir of Love” is set in Bergamo, Italy, around the 1830s, and it is performed in both English and Italian. However, Aubrey said there will be supertitles in English and Italian so that it is audience-friendly and open to anyone.

Skoog affirmed Aubrey’s statement of the universality of the opera as well.

“‘Elixir of Love’ is the perfect opera for people who have tons of experience with opera and for people who have never experienced an opera, because the music is gorgeous, the plot is comical — with a little heart break — and it is a story most can relate to,” Skoog said.

Aubrey also commented on the logistics of the opera and how they have put it together in a way that is particularly audience-friendly.

“We have used technology to help us because Meek is a small theater. There are rear projector screens that will give you pictures of the background for the story without requiring a big set.”

Aubrey said the set serves as a background for the story without being too overwhelming.

“There will be 25 people on stage with an emphasis on acting and singing, as well as an orchestra in the pit, made up of students, faculty and community members,” Aubrey said.

“Honestly I am simply looking forward to being on stage with wonderful people; allowing Donizetti’s (the composer’s) music come to life and take the audience on a journey with me,” Skoog said.

Meredith Dillon, freshman theatre arts major, spoke of the unique attraction of opera.

“Opera is one of the oldest forms of theatrical performance, and like with anything else, it’s important to appreciate the history to better understand the present,” Dillon said.

The performances will be today and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., as well as Sunday at 3 p.m.