Synopsis L'elisir d'amore
A village in the Basque Country, 1836. While peasants rest from work, Nemorino, a young villager, watches the beautiful farm owner Adina reading a book. He loves her but feels she is beyond his reach. Adina is asked to tell the story of her book and she tells them how Tristan won the heart of Isolde by drinking a magic love potion. Sergeant Belcore arrives, he promptly introduces himself to Adina and asks her to marry him. Adina declares that she is in no hurry but promises to think over the offer. Left alone with Nemorino, Adina tells him that his time would be better spent in town, looking after his sick uncle, than hoping to win her love. Nemorino reminds her that one can never forget one's first love. Dulcamara, a traveling purveyor of patent medicines, arrives in the village, advertising a potion capable of curing anything. Nemorino shyly asks if he sells the elixir of love described in Adina's book. Dulcamara, understood he's got an ingenuous client, sells him a bottle of Bordeaux at the cost of a ducat, assuring him to be the love potion. Nemorino buys it and immediately drinks it; Dulcamara explains the results will be seen the day after. When Adina appears, Nemorino, certain he will be irresistible to her the next day, feigns cheerful indifference. To punish him, Adina flirts with Belcore and when the order arrives for him to return immediately to his garrison, Adina agrees to marry him. Shocked, Nemorino begs her to wait one more day, but she ignores him and invites the entire village to her wedding. Nemorino desperately calls for the doctor's help.
Quanto è bella, quanto è cara!, Nemorino's Cavatina
Benedette queste carte...elisir di si perfetta di si rara qualità!, Adina's Aria
Come Paride vezzoso, Belcore's Cavatina
Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera, Adina and Nemorino's Duet
Udite, udite, o rustici!, Dulcamara's Cavatina
Esulti pur la barbara, Adina and Nemorino's Duet
At the pre-wedding feast, Adina wonders why Nemorino is not present. She doesn't want to sign the marriage contract until he appears, to punish him for his indifference. Meanwhile, Nemorino asks Dulcamara for another bottle of the elixir. Since he doesn't have any money with him, the doctor agrees to wait so Nemorino can borrow the cash from someone. Nemorino is persuaded to join the army in order to receive the volunteer bonus of 20 scudi. Unaware of the news that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he believes the elixir is finally taking effect when he finds himself besieged by a group of girls. When Adina arrives and sees him with the other girls, she reacts jealously. Nemorino is now sure that Adina cares for him and when she tells him she has bought back his enlistment papers, he again feigns indifference. Finally, she confesses her love for him. Belcore appears to find the two arm in arm and, offended, takes his leave. Dulcamara reveals to the crowd the news of Nemorino's inheritance and brags about how his miraculous potion can make people fall in love and even turn poor peasants into millionaires.