Houghton Lyric Theater: "Elixir of Love"

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Houghton College


November 1, 2014


02:30 PM to 04:00 PM


Houghton College’s Lyric Theatre will present Gaetano Donizetti’s comedic opera, The Elixir of Love, Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31, at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee performance on Saturday, November 1 at 2:30 p.m., in Wesley Chapel.

Tickets are $9 for general admission, $4 for children and free for ages 17 and under.  Ticket purchases can be made online by clicking the registration link at the top of this page.

The show is being presented, in part, by a $5,000 grant from the Oliver G. and Sarah Sloan Bauman Fund for the Arts. Through this grant, the Lyric Theater was able to hire a professional bass-baritone to play one of the lead roles and RPM Entertainment Productions of Buffalo to build a professional set.

Artistic direction and overall design for this year's show is created and overseen by the director of the Lyric Theater and 2014 winner of the American Prize in Opera, Mitchell Hutchings, with the assistance of Sarah Hutchings, assistant professor of music theory and composition.

Newly appointed director of instrumental activities and assistant professor of conducting and horn, Dr. Justin Davis, returns to Lyric Theater as music director and will conduct this fully orchestrated show.

L’elisir d’amore (translated to The Elixir of Love) is a hilarious operatic comedy in two acts. Here, the show has been modernized to include a weary coffee shop worker, named Nemorino, who is deeply in love with the business owner and barista, Adina.  Amid a wild scheme to gain her love, Nemorino decides to buy a magical elixir from a “Dr. Oz" type television personality, Dr. Dulcamara.  When women of the town (who, unbeknownst to Nemorino, just found out he inherited a huge sum of money) begin to fall in love with him, Nemorino thinks that the ”magical” elixir is working.  His elixir wears off just in time to discover that his love, Adina, is going to marry a local soldier named Belcore.  With great distress, Nemorino then conjures a plot to win her back.  In the end everyone finds happiness, and Dr. Dulcamara proclaims his elixir’s unfailing success.

For the first time in over 20 years, Houghton’s theater group will perform the foreign opera piece in Italian. There will, however, be English supertitles running on a projector above the stage throughout the performance. 

Director of Lyric Theater  Mitchell Hutchings said, “Considering our talented student pool, we decided that the Elixir of Love was a perfect choice for our program.  Opera has always been an important part of the Houghton Lyric Theater, but a fully staged, fully orchestrated presentation in Italian hasn’t been performed in quite some time.”  

The Greatbatch School of Music has seen a surge in recent years of new incoming talents among both the faculty and students. Houghton’s finest student performers from all over the world are assisting with this production. Many are returning from summer programs including Chicago Summer Opera, Opera Breve, University of Miami Salzburg Program, and the Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti Vocal Training Intensive in Lucca, Italy.

Victoria Pitre and Rachael Anacker will share the role of Adina (Nemorino’s love interest). Graduate student, Sean Douglas, will lend his tenor voice to the lead role of Nemorino. Dr. Dulcamara will be performed by professional performer, Nicholas Kilkenny of Long Island, New York, and the role of Giannetta will be shared by Charlotte Zhang and Suzannah Waddington.

“This will be a historic showing for Houghton College and should not be missed!” said Hutchings. 


Shelly Hillman


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