Bel Canto and Beyond...

Julie Lake is presenting another season of Bel Canto and Beyond at the Zamia Theatre.

Julie is showing an opera on the third Wednesday of May, June, July, and August. If the course proves popular she will consider showing further operas.  Each program will feature a short talk on the opera, its composer and the particular production, followed by a video from Julie's extensive collection. 

The 2019 season has already featured Verdi's La Traviata in May, in June, Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, and in July Puccini's Madama Butterfly. 

The theatre is unavailable in August, so the next date is 18 September.  

Opera lovers should check their diaries.  Julie will send out reminders at the beginning of each month to those on her list of U3A opera enthusiasts, along with a program.

On 18 September, enjoy Donizetti's The Elixir of Love in the 1981 New York Metropolitan Opera production with Luciano Pavarotti and Judith Blegen.  

The program will start at 11am and finish about 3pm with a break at an appropriate time, so do bring
lunch if you wish.  Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided a usual.

Julie's Contact:  jrlakemedia@gmail.com

Well, we sobbed our way through Madame Butterfly last month, now let's laugh our way through Donizetti's delightful romp, The Elixir of Love.

This could be considered the quintessential Italian opera, full of sunshine and melody and enough pathos to add spice. And the lead role of Nemorino, the shy but ardent young farmer, was made for Luciano Pavarotti who is seen and heard here in his magnificent prime in this 1981 New York Metropolitan production. Pavarotti identified strongly with this role, as did Caruso before him, and he is able to be at his most flamboyantly Italian, alternately passionate, despairing, gleeful and mischievous, singing his heart out all the way. All this is captured in the aria that first brought Pavarotti to the attention of the non-opera loving public: "A Furtive Tear".

Judith Blegen, a star of the Met back in the 70s and 80s and one of my favourite sopranos, is his perfect foil. She nails the role of the capricious, rather spoiled but ultimately kind-hearted Adina and has the right kind of lyric tone to sustain the role and its bursts of bright coloratura. The rest of the cast is equally good.

The opera will be screened at 11am on Wednesday, August 21 in the Zamia Theatre, tickets $5 at the door. Tea, coffee and cake included. The running time is about two hours; we will take the usual 30-minute break in the middle and if we can get going reasonably on time, and allowing for my usual presentation, we should be finished by 2pm.

Do come and join us - you don't have to be a hardcore opera buff to enjoy a sip of The Elixir of Love.

Julie Lake

Click on the button below to download an outline of the plot.