Una furtiva lagrima is a romance contained in the two-act opera “L’elisir d’amore” written by Gaetano Donizetti in 1832. The libretto of the Opera is by Felice Romani. It is a work that has a strong funny vein. It is set in the Basque Country at the end of the 18th century.
The plot of the work speaks of a simple farmer, Nemorino, who is in love with Adina, the tenant of those lands, but has enormous difficulty in declaring himself.
Nemorino then turns to Dulcamara, who is a charlatan, a barker who pretending to be a doctor proposes to Nemorino a magic potion that the false doctor calls “The Elixir of Love”.
Dulcamara manages to convince Nemorino of the potion’s effectiveness, which however is nothing more than a simple glass of wine, and specifically: a Bordeaux.
In the second act of the opera Nemorino notices that a tear was spilling on the face of his beloved Adina.
It is precisely at this point in the opera that Nemorino sings L’Elisir d’Amore.
He believed it was the fruit of the elixir of love while in reality it was just jealousy.
The opera was staged for its premiere on 12 May 1832 in Milan at the Teatro della Cannobiana later called Teatro Lirico, located in Via Larga at 14.
The figure of the barker and the charlatan is a figure widely used in the Italian Commedia dell Arte which spread throughout Europe in the 1400s.
This lyric aria is an excellent “formative” aria to sing for those who delight in opera singing.
Un abbraccio/ a big Hug