Oct 13, 2012 – London, England
L’ELISIR D’AMORE (Donizetti)
Maurizio Benini; Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani,
Mariusz Kwiecien, Ambrogio Maestri
This week we are visiting the Royal College of Surgeons in London, a city with 19 venues for Live in HD – virtually all of them sold out last August before tickets went on sale at home. Friends here finally unearthed four tickets to L’Elisir d’Amore far to the northwest in Kensal Rise where we found a jewel-box: a 75 seat theater in a converted Edwardian music hall, with fabulous light installations by the light sculptor Bruce Monroe and one of the “top 5 public sound systems in the country;” the whole viewing room is a sound system. Astonishingly, all profits go to charity and the cinema is staffed by devoted local volunteers. Owner Teresa Graham bills herself as Head of Parties and Fun and greeted us with flutes of champagne.
We and our friends (Londoners with season tickets to Covent Garden and Glyndebourne) settled into our leather armchairs and, we all agreed, saw the best production of L’Elisir that anyone had ever seen, in the most memorable setting outside the Met house itself. What a joy.