UCSC Opera Theater offers 'The Elixir of Love,' June 3-6

L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) will be performed in the original Italian by a delightful student cast and the full UCSC Orchestra in the UC Santa Cruz Music Department's annual presentation of a fully staged opera production, June 3-6 at the Music Center Recital Hall.

First performed in 1832, this two-act comic opera was an instant success, with music written by composer Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Felice Romani.

It contains the popular aria "Una furtiva lagrima" ("A Furtive Tear"), one of the most famous and often-excerpted arias in all of opera.

Director and concept designer Brian Staufenbiel has staged L'elisir d'amore in a World War II-era factory instead of the traditional setting of the Italian countryside.

"This opera epitomizes much of what makes opera great-love, jealousy, obsession, manipulation, fake love-potion, food, wine, eating, drinking, and a happy ending," said Staufenbiel, who recently directed Ensemble Parallèle's production of Wozzeck at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

The opera will be performed by the UCSC Orchestra, conducted by Nicole Paiement, director of Ensembles at UCSC. She is also the founding Artistic Director of San Francisco's Ensemble Parallèle, a professional group dedicated to to contemporary chamber opera and multidisciplinary projects.

Tickets are available at santacruztickets.com; the UCSC Ticket Office, (831) 459-2159, and at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium Box Office.