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Italian opera ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’ at the Cultural Center of the Philippines

THE Italian opera “L’Elisir d’Amore” by Gaetano Donizetti will have two shows at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Oct. 7-8 as part of the festivities marking the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Italy and the Philippines and to raise funds for the construction of the San Pablo Apostol Parish church in Tondo, Manila.

Organizers announced that the international cast of ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’ in Manila is led by soprano Elena Monti, who had performed in prestigious Italian and international concert halls, including the famed Teatro alla Scalla, as Adina.

Tenor David Astorga plays her paramour, Nemorino, while Nemorino’s nemesis, Belcore, is performed by baritone Byeong-in Park. The self-styled “Dr. Encyclopedia,” Dulcamara, is played by comic bass Francesco Vultaggio. Special guest Rachelle Gerodias-Park is the gossiping Gianetta.

The opera-fund-raiser is produced by Zenaida R. Tantoco with Nestor O. Jardin and Dr. Raul M. Sunico as executive producers, organizers said.

The artistic and production team is led by Director Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, with Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong providing support as direction consultant.

Organizers said set designer Maurizio Varamo brings the stage to life. Flavio Monti offers invaluable help as set project assistant. Costume Designer Otello Camponeschi ensures that the period costumes appear authentic. Lighting Designer Giovanni Pirandello makes color a character on its own. Coro Tomasino and the Philippine Ballet Theatre lend their vocal artistry and choreography, respectively, to the production.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Ruggero Barbieri, provides the musical accompaniment.

The Rustan Commercial Corp. (RCC), CCP, and The Peninsula Manila, in cooperation with the Philippine-Italian Association, present the opera under the auspices of the Italian Embassy, organizers said.

The opera is staged with the sponsorship of Royal Duty Free Shops, Hermes, Debenhams, Rustan Marketing Corp., Rustan Supercenters, Megaworld, and Bergamo.

The opera staging also celebrates the 65th Sapphire anniversary of the Rustan Group of Companies.

First performed in Milan at the Teatro della Canobbiana in 1832, “L’Elisir d’Amore” is the most often performed of Donizetti’s compositions and has been continuously in the global opera repertoire.

Set in a tiny hamlet in the Basque region of Spain toward the late 18th century, the plot involves a down-to-earth worker, Nemorino, who falls for Adina, a beautiful yet indifferent landowner.

Enter Belcore, a belligerent military man who seeks Adina’s hand. The plot thickens with the whisperings of Adina’s friend, Gianetta. A wandering quack doctor, Dulcamara, intercedes on behalf of the love-struck peasant with the eponymous bottle of romance.

The gala performance is on Oct. 7, at 8:00 pm, while the matinee is on Oct. 8, at 3:00 pm. Gala tickets are at P5,000, P3,000, P1,500, and P1,000 while matinee tickets are at P2,500, P1,500, P800, and P500.

For ticket sales or other inquiries, interested parties can contact the CCP Box Office through 832-3704 or 06 and TicketWorld through 891-9999 or visit the CCP website at

Ibarra C. Mateo
A journalist since 1983, Ibarra C. Mateo is also an editor, a researcher, and a communication consultant.

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