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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Find everlasting love at Cardiff Millennium centre

This classic and humorous operatic love tryst is a vibrant stimulation for the eyes as well as the ears.

Robert Innes Hopkins’s set design is a vivid array of bright yellows and sky blues and the orchestra, conducted by Rory MacDonald, play a faultless ensemble.

Nemorino, a lovesick waiter played by American Dmitri Pittas, spends the first few scenes dramatically fluttering a white napkin as he endlessly pines after romantic novel-lover Adina, played by Camilla Roberts.

But as the audience marvel at Pittas’s tremendous tenor vocal abilities, Adina’s affections seem to lie elsewhere.

Womaniser Captain Belcore, played by Mark Stone, catches her eye as he swaggers onto the stage in his charming white naval uniform, booming baritone vocals in a fantastically charismatic performance.

Nemorino is heartbroken when Adina accepts Belcore’s marriage proposal so when fool-of-a-quack Doctor Dulcamara, played by Neal Davies, arrives on scene in a Golden hot air balloon dangling a love potion, Nemorino doesn’t think twice before foolishly spending his last few pennies.

Never trust a man who fails to notice his toupee continuously toppling off –Dulcamara’s love potion is a shameless fake and is little more than cheap red wine.

In his love-struck desperation, Nemorino downs the whole bottle and inevitably becomes a drunken mess rather than a woman magnet.

Untroubled by the lack of women failing at his feet, Nemorino joins the Navy so he can afford a second bottle.

This time it works. Even Doctor Delamara is confused. Overcome by jealously, Adina decides Nemorino might be a worthwhile lover after all and promptly dumps Captain Belcore.  Love works in mysterious ways and it is Nemorino’s perfect ending.

In the audience, Peter Walker, 79, a retired civil servant, of Radyr, Cardiff, said: “This is one of Donizetti’s better operas. I think it is marvellous.

“The timing is beautiful, the set design is extremely well done and the tenor is superb. This is one of the best operas the Wales Millennium Centre have done. It is a good production.”

Showing until 18th April at Cardiff Millennium Centre

check for cast changes online

Tickets £15, Box Office 08700 40 2000



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