WCU’s Wells School of Music to Stage Drive-In Opera

David Bjorkgren
drive-in opera

Wells School of Music opera students at West Chester University are up for a new challenge this year – performing a drive-in opera.

On Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 at 8:30 PM, Wells School of Music’s Opera Theatre presents Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (L’elixir d’amore.) The performance will be staged in the parking lot of the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre of the Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, located at 817 South High Street.

Tickets are free but reservations are required due to the limited number of parking spaces available. In the advent of inclement weather, the performance will be rescheduled for Sunday, May 2 at 8:30 PM.

The Elixir of Love is a comedy, a love story sweetened by passionate singing, intoxicating melodies, and a “magic” potion. Poor Nemorino is in love with the wealthy Adina, but she only has eyes for the striking Sergeant Belcore. Enter Dr. Dulcamara, a quack who woos Nemorino with a promise: Drink the elixir and Adina will fall in love with Nemorino within a day. The Elixir of Love is directed by Nicholas Provenzale, WCU’s Director of Opera, and is performed in Italian with English supertitles.

Audiences are encouraged to view this performance live from the comfort and safety of their vehicles as the performance unfolds on an outside stage. Audio will be delivered via an FM radio signal and the performance will also be projected onto a large screen.

“Because of the pandemic safety restrictions, I knew that I needed a creative solution,” said Provenzale. “A live-stream performance, inside with masks, was not exciting to me or my students. As singers, we are compelled to perform, and I want my students to learn from a live performance experience. Audiences have also been deprived of live arts experiences for a very long time. I hope this production brings the joy of music-making to both the students and audiences from the surrounding community. I think The Elixir of Love – with its beautiful melodies, romance, and comedy – is just the remedy for all.”