Opera of love and laughs

Vancouver Island Opera stages production of L’Elisir d’Amore

Rachael Stewart  performs in VIO’s L’Elisir d’Amore this weekend.

Rachael Stewart performs in VIO’s L’Elisir d’Amore this weekend.

Guaranteed to be a feast for your ears, bring tears to your eyes and perhaps a lump in your throat, the Vancouver Island Opera (VIO) is presenting L’Elisir d’Amore this weekend.

The Elixir of Love is the eighth full length feature production of the opera and there will be two performances of glorious music and singing at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre on November 5 and 6.

The comic opera composed by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, is a tale of romance, larceny, war … and love potions.

Producer Tatiana Vasilieva said the opera should appeal to a wide audience because Donizetti’s score includes boisterous choruses, and beautiful duets and arias. It contains the popular “Una furtiva lagrima,” a world famous tenor aria.


The opera is called an “opera buffa”, meaning it is a comic opera centered around the subject of love.

She said while many popular opera themes deal with tragedy, death and betrayal, this is a very well known comic opera and it should be a real treat even for people who are not familiar with opera.

She said you don’t need to know Italian to follow along because subtitles will be displayed on the wall of the auditorium.

Vasilieva said it is a wonderful opera to watch because “It has beautiful melodies and lots of choruses to sing.”

With the principal and several supporting roles sung by young, upcoming operatic talent, and an orchestra of professional musicians, she said opera fans will, again be assured of a rich production of splendid singing and action.

Multi-talented John Arsenault, who has sung tenor lead roles in three previous productions, will be returning in an encore performance as orchestra director.

Rachel Stewart who has performed in past productions with the VIO has a return engagement and will be playing the role of Adina in this production.

The first performance is Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. and there is a matinee Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2:30 p.m.


Advance tickets are $32 at Chocolates Plus in Qualicum Beach, Cranky Dog Music in Parksville and Tom Lee Music in Nanaimo. For more ticket information call 250-248-7296.