After last night’s opening of L’elisir d’amore, the first chirping of critics is heard.  

“With all respect to Donizetti, a towering figure in Italian opera who cleared a path for Verdi, it does seem a little odd for the Met to have opened successive seasons with two Donizetti vehicles for Ms. Netrebko. Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, has said that the schedule just worked out this way.”  New York Times

“Occasionally it seemed Sher wanted to find serious drama in what is never more, or less, than a charming romantic comedy, but the end result was a delightful staging of an enchanting opera.”  Huffington Post

“…the result was somewhere between routine and desultory: a whole opera brought to the stage without anything very fresh or delightful happening for the entire three hours.”  Washington Post

“The singing was so strong and supple throughout the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night production of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore that the traditional look of Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher’s new production, which might have disappointed patrons hoping for something more innovative, proved to be a negligible factor.”  Theatermania

“…a dramatic mishmash, and the singing is uneven.” Financial Times

“From one point of view, L’Elisir was an odd choice for a Met opening, since it has neither the novelty nor the spectacle usually associated with a gala occasion. Yet, really, what better way to kick off the season than with a tuneful, humane comedy that sends the audience out of the opera house smiling.” AP

“Just as the love potion in L’Elisir d’Amore turns out to be cheap red wine, the Met’s new production of this Donizetti opera offers no magic, just a momentary buzz.” New York Post

Photo: Ken Howard