Review: Opera North, The Elixir of Love Grand Theatre, Leeds

If you are after something sunny and funny to drive away the winter blues then look no further.

Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:30 pm

Opera North’s revival of Donizetti’s frothy and unfailingly tuneful romance is like a sun-drenched package tour to 1950S Italy.

Daniel Slater’s colourful and engaging production is as sharp as an Italian suit and aimed as much at fashionistas as music lovers - all Vogue frocks and Vespa scooters. You almost expect Sophia Loren to turn up riding pillion.

The appealing cast is international, too - Korean Jung Soo Yun as a puppyish lovelorn waiter, Romanian soprano Gabriela Istoc (correct) as the object of his affections and Australian Richard Burkhard as the purveyor of the love potion that brings them together.

A Swede, Tobias Ringborg, gets the best from the orchestra, and the hard-working chorus, rarely off stage, help make this a consistently excellent and at timers spectacular night at the opera.

* Philip Andrews