At the Angers opera house, an “Elixir of love” bottoms up

Adina (Perrine Madoeuf) and Nemorino (Mathias Vidal) in the

After The bat by Johann Strauss in 2021, Madame Butterfly of Puccini in 2022, it is at the Donizetti of L’Elisir d’amore that the opera houses of Rennes then Angers and Nantes have chosen to entrust the last programming of their season. A production capable of attracting more than 8,000 people, not to mention its live broadcast on screens, on June 15, in more than fifty cities in the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions as well as on local television channels. and the France 3 website. The event is obviously aimed at the greatest number, like the love elixir of the charlatan Dulcamara, supposed to make hearts fall in love, as surely as the potion that binds Tristan and Isolda.

The staging of David Lescot does not seek noon at two o’clock. On an agricultural plot where the Gypsies are busy, the beautiful Adina, an impertinent young person completely absorbed in her craving for reading, tries to keep poor Nemorino (more or less the simpleton of the village) at a distance, who is dying of love for She. Between provocation and libertarian claim, our small-footed Carmen even chooses to marry the advantageous and ridiculous officer Belcore, just to test her pitiful lover, who will let himself be plucked by Dulcamara for a few sips of the precious elixir (in fact wine from Bordeaux).

Corn grain silo, wooden staircase and barn upstairs, sorting carpet for cereals are the pretext for a hectic direction of actors strewn with more or less predictable gags, like the duet between Adina and Belcore staggering on a carpet rolling in action. The director has endeavored to give the women the seductive and vindictive allure of Bizet’s cigarette girls, as quick to love as they are to handle knives. “Funny people, these people! »we would say to parody once again Carmen. Variegated dresses, messy hair and crazy bric-a-brac depict a society as disparate in its detail as it is uniform in its entirety.

Tourbillon of a race for life

Alone, puny, isolated, Nemorino struggles under the compassionless gaze of a crowd whose mocking violence marks his difference, his naivety and his quest for love. Lescot would almost succeed in making it the symbol of the humiliated and offended if the verve of Donizetti (apart from the famous “Una furtiva lagrima”hymn of amorous victory sung in the hollow of a lament) did not musically undermine this interpretation, carrying each of the protagonists – including the choir – in the whirlwind of a race for life.

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