Hot ticket: An intriguing 'Elixir'

Published February 16, 2006

Tenor Aaron Pegram is Nemorino, and bass-baritone Rod Nelman is Dr. Dulcamara in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, an Orlando Opera production that is being presented by Opera Tampa. The Donizetti catalog includes some 65 operas - in some years he churned out as many as four operas - and the comic Elixir is one of the most popular. Premiered in 1832, it's a typically convoluted tale of penniless boy meets girl, loses girl and then wins her back, thanks to an aphrodisiac and a conveniently inherited fortune.

Soprano Anna Vikre is Adina, the ingenue whose first-act duet with Nemorino and aria in the second act, Prendi, prendi per me sei libero, are bel canto classics. The production has had three performances already in Orlando.

Making his opera directorial debut with Elixir is Frank McClain. Robin Stamper conducts the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Ferguson Hall of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa. $49.50, $69.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; tbpac.org.

- JOHN FLEMING, Times performing arts critic