"The Elixir of Love" revolves around a potion purported to make the drinker irresistible to the object of his desire. It's a potent potion indeed: Not only the protagonist Nemorino, but Utah Opera's entire production of the Gaetano Donizetti opera, is virtually irresistible.
This production conceived by James Robinson, with a Grandma Moses-inspired set design by Allen Moyer and smart-looking costumes by Alice Bristow places the Donizetti opera in a small town in the American Midwest in the second decade of the 20th century. It was clear from the opening scene in Saturday's opening performance that everyone onstage was having fun. Stage director Crystal Manich made sure that each chorus member had a clear identity; their interactions established a strong sense of community and helped the audience warm to them right away.
The plot revolves around Nemorino, a naive but good-natured young man who is in love with the worldwise Adina. When Adina accepts a surprising marriage proposal from another man, Nemorino must act fast. Enter the traveling salesman Dulcamara.