L’elisir d’amore
Vancouver Opera

Photo: John Osborn as Nemorino

Vancouver Opera's performance of L'elisir d'amore was a celebration worth waiting for. As directed by David Gately scenes bubbled over with merriment and surprise. Even Nemorino's forlorn emotions didn't seriously threaten the festive atmosphere.
Gately underlined the action of Romani's libretto with gentle irony. During the orchestral prelude, a young Nemorino and Adina reverse the roles assigned to them by Donizetti's librettist. In this ingenious vignette, it is the boy Nemorino who rebuffs Adina instead of the other way around. As a result, the indifferent, sometimes cruel Adina becomes more understandable, and hence more sympathetic.
— North Shore News

The Elixir of Love has not been seen on the Vancouver Opera stage for 30 years but David Gately's delightful production was worth the wait. Gately's kinetic directorial style kept the show moving without overdoing the slapstick, throwaway jokes and sight gags. He used points of repose only for moments of sentiment and reflection, and crowd scenes to enhance atmosphere, either by involving the crowds in the action itself, or by holding them in a static tableau, throwing the actions of the principals into strong relief.
All in all, performers and audience alike had a rollicking good time. This is comic opera as it should be.

L’elisir d’amore
Atlanta Opera (2009)

Photo: Bruce Sledge, Leah Partridge (Photos by Tim Wilkerson.)

In David Gately's stage direction, the story's charming conceit -- played out silently by children during the overture -- is that Nemorino and Adina, our happily-ever-after couple, have had feelings for each other since school days. This invented backstory doesn't make the absurd hijinks any less improbable, but it gave a human touch.

— Arts Critic Atlanta

Photo: Philip Addis, Leah Partridge