Teatro alla Scala: L’Elisir d’Amore



by Bianca L. Nica
December 17, 2021



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OPERA Charm Magazine finally meets Teatro alla Scala. And we couldn’t have been happier about inaugurating what we hope will be a long beautiful friendship with a glorious last performance of Donizetti’s charming Elisir d’amore, with a spectacular cast. Teatro alla Scala opened for the public at its entire capacity of 2030 seats brings chills and happy tears in the eyes of each and every opera lover – this theater has its undeniable & inexplicable quelque chose that is addicting. 

The curtain raised and Tullio Pericoli’s scenes, prepared in 1998 for Teatro alla Scala – and still enchanting and actual – brought us in a cartoonish atmosphere, accompanied by Grischa Asagaro’s staging – simple, following entirely the score, with no twist, but still captivating. Less is more in some case and, with such a cast, the stage could have been empty and no one would have ever noticed this.

After the first performance, the tenor Paolo Fanale was replaced firstly by Francesco Meli & then by Vittorio Grigòlo for the last three performances (November 17th, 21st, 23th), who we had the great pleasure to listen to, despite an awful cold – a reference figure for Nemorino. As we can say La Scala is always La Scala… well, Grigòlo is and will always be Grigòlo. 

And the audience loves him unconditionally. Probably the most beautiful tenor voice of our times, Grigòlo is himself a character. A passional one, a stage animal that sometimes can become too much for the taste of the most traditionalist of us. Vocally wise, despite the health issues announced officially at the beginning of the performance, Grigòlo was, as always, a certainty. The length of the ovations after his Una furtiva lagrima said it all, but an encore would have been a fatigue for the conductor (and the orchestra) who had managed with difficulty to follow Grigòlo and his unexpected variations of the aria into an unique interpretation. Completely involved on stage, conturing both the melancholic & the drunk moments of Nemorino, Grigòlo has his own point of view about the score and he is not afraid to impose it. You either like it or not. And we certainly did like it.

Benedetta Torre. Sparkling as Adina for her so much deserved debut in Teatro alla Scala, the very young soprano who has already proved herself as a full package artist in Arena di Verona, as Sacerdotessa in Verdi’s Aida, conducted by M° Riccardo Muti, and as Despina in Così fan tutte at Teatro del Maggio (Florence). Even though there’s nothing that one critic her musically wise, Torre seems a very shy and technically focused artist at the beginning of the performance, so every time she shows another shade of her character – the seductive, the intelligent, the capricious, the loving, the mature sides of Adina -, she manages to surprise the audience. 

Coping perfectly with the dynamics imposed by Grigòlo on stage, Benedetta Torre has a brilliant career in front of her and after such performance we can’t help but wonder what’s coming next. 

The baritone Davide Luciano performed very convincingly the role of the sergeant Dulcamara.

Straight out from Rossini’s Il turco in Italia, also in La Scala, Giulio Mastrototaro performed Dottor Dulcamara. 

We were extremely excited to have on stage one of the protagonists of our Charming beginnings rubric, the soprano Francesca Pia Vitale performing Gianetta – charmingly, of course, as we had already assumed when we chose her for rubric, very present & noteworthy, both vocally & theatrically, in every intervention. 

Michele Gamba proposed the right tempi both the frenetic ensemble moments and for the more lyrical ones, such as the arias, always doing his best to keep under control the dialogue between the orchestra and the soloists, but also the huge amount of energy and unpredictability of Vittorio Grigòlo’s performance. Gorgeous performance of the Choir (prepared by Alberto Malazzi) and the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala. 

Emotional standing ovation for the last performance of the so much loved donizettian title, at Teatro alla Scala. Waiting breathlessly for the new season &, of course, for Davide Livermoor’s Macbeth, we hope to see you all soon at the theater!

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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