Donizetti’s ‘Elixir of Love’ opera adapted to office life

Donizetti’s ‘Elixir of Love’ opera adapted to office life

Donizetti’s ‘Elixir of Love’ opera adapted to office life

An adaptation of Donizetti’s opera “The Elixir of Love” that revolves around the lives of office workers is being staged by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB). 

The opera, which is being directed by Figen Karakelle, was first staged in Milan in 1832. It libretto was written by Felice Romani and its music composed by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. It premiered on Feb. 3 in Ankara. 

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Karakelle said their adaptation was different. “This time ‘The Elixir of Love’ is a love story set in today’s world. Actually, the love story is always the same. It is the oldest story in the world. Therefore, there is no dramaturgical difference between using a village in the 19th century and an office in the 20th century. There is only visual and sensual difference,” she said. 

She also said it was one of Donizetti’s comic operas. “Without changing the original love story, which is told through class differences, we wanted to use characters from today’s world. So our adaptation is set in contemporary offices.” 

Karakelle said the “Elixir of Love” was originally set in a farm and told the story of the farm worker Nemorino, who falls in love with the beautiful Adina but is not loved in return. 

“Unlike the original, Nemorino is an office boy and Adina is an office director,” she added. 

A doctor named Dulcamara, who claims to have a solution for everything, becomes a “life coach” in Karakelle’s adaptation. 

“Office workers basically want a better salary and a better position. This is what we all want. We always want more. Nemorino represents what is pure and real in this world. Because his feelings are pure, his whole world is Adina. All he wants is her love. Adina is a successful businesswoman. There is no such real thing in her life. What I am trying to say is that we always want more but only our sincere thoughts allow us to win everything,” Karakelle said. 

She said the idea that “love is the only thing that can remove all limits and handicaps” is highlighted in the opera. 

Karakelle said the “The Elixir of Love” was one of the most popular operas in the world. “Big opera houses often perform it because it is a warm, sincere opera. Young opera-goers haven’t had the chance to see it in Ankara. This is the first time it has been staged in Ankara for almost 20 years.”