Magic potion, mischievous charlatan, misguided lover star in FHSU's spring opera

Desperate to win the village beauty's love, a shy young man, Nemorino, calls upon a sham doctor who provides him with a "magic" love potion in Fort Hays State University's performance of the "Elixir of Love" by Gaetano Donizetti.

The FHSU opera will perform two showings of "The Elixir of Love," one at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, and the other at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, in Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall.

"This is an important opera in the standard repertoire that is performed all over the world each year, including this year at the Metropolitan Opera in New York," said Dr. Joseph Perniciaro, associate professor of music and theatre. "Last performed at FHSU in 1974, this charming romantic comedy remains one of the greatest gems in classic opera."

The story takes place in a small Italian village in the late 18th or early 19th century. Nemorino finds himself entangled in a love triangle with the rich and beautiful Adina and her suitor, the pompous Sergeant Belcore. Then Dr. Dulcamara arrives on the scene with a "magic" love potion, which, instead of solving the problems causes many more.

Perniciaro described the opera as "buoyant and tuneful, filled with stylish bel canto singing."

The opera features a cast and orchestra of FHSU students and community members. The leading roles, all music majors, are Eriana Holle, Hays senior, as Adina, and Karl Pratt, Hoxie senior, and Luke Fairbank, Hays senior, as Nemorino. Max Haverfield, Hays junior, will act as Dr. Dulcamara and Hayley Funk, Quinter senior, will act as Giannetta, Adina's friend. The Fort Hays Singers will perform in the chorus as peasants and soldiers.

Tickets for individual performances are $15 for the public and $10 for senior citizens and FHSU students with valid ID.

For more information, contact the FHSU Department of Music and Theatre at 785-628-4533. Tickets may also be purchased online at

"Join us and feel the hazy sun of the Italian countryside. 'Viva l' Opera'," said Perniciaro.

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