Wichita Grand Opera will open the curtains on its new Valentine’s Day production of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 and 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Century II in Wichita.


Wichita Grand Opera will open the curtains on its new Valentine’s Day production of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 and 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Century II in Wichita.

As Wichita Grand Opera’s fourth production of the season, this lighthearted romantic comedy is sure to bring a smile to every face, according to a Wichita Grand Opera news release. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. One of the most popular comedies in the history of opera, the plot should be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever been in love, the news release stated.

A backward country boy, tired of being taunted by the girl he adores, spends all his money on a bottle of fake love potion hocked by an unscrupulous traveling salesman, disguised as a doctor. Foibles abound in this misadventure. The score features the favorite tenor love song “Una furtiva lagrima,” among the most commonly performed in the operatic repertoire.

European tenor Otokar Klein makes his United States debut as Nemorino, the charming country boy. Klein has made a name for himself singing leading roles at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, including La Scala, the State Opera of Berlin, the Vienna State Opera, the Zurich Opera, the State Opera Budapest, the Prague Opera, the Royal Theater of the Mint in Brussels.

Soprano Emily Truckenbrod will sing Nemorino’s love interest, the playful beauty Adina. Returning for her second season at the Wichita opera, Truckenbrod has a clear voice that makes “the angels sigh with envy” (The Dispatch), the news release stated. She debuted with Wichita Grand Opera in the role of Oscar in “A Masked Ball.” Other roles in her repertoire include Adele in “Die Fledermaus,” both The Queen of the Night and Papagena in “The Magic Flute,” Marie in “La Fille du Regiment” and Yum Yum in “The Mikado.”

The Wichita Grand Opera Chorus sings “L’Elisir di si Perfetta,” the theme of Donizetti’s romantic comic opera.

The traveling charlatan Dr. Dulcamara will be sung by Jorge Ocasio, who “steals the show in ‘Elixir’ ... like the great singing actor Tito Gobbi,” according to a recent reviewer in The Italian Review.

Wichita native Michael Nansel returns to Wichita Grand Opera from Washington Opera, where he sang in recent productions of “La Boheme” and “Andrea Chénier” as well as the American premiere of “Sophie’s Choice.” The baritone will sing the role of the cocky Sergeant Belcore.

Stage director Patrick Hansen will helm the production in his debut with Wichita Grand Opera. In addition to making his Wichita Grand Opera debut, this season he also will debut at the Kennedy Center with Puccini’s Turandot and at Opera Memphis with Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice.”

Margaret Pent, Wichita Grand Opera artistic director, will design the production. Highlights of her work in Wichita include directing and designing “Carmen on the Lake” at Bradley Fair, as well as the 2007 production of Tosca and the 2008 production of “Faust,” both starring Sam Ramey, among others.

The orchestra for “The Elixir of Love” will be under the baton of Slovakian National Opera principal conductor Martin Mázik. Mázik regularly appears with major orchestras and opera companies in Europe, Japan and the United States. He made his U.S. opera debut at Wichita Grand Opera in 2004 with “Don Giovanni” and has returned every year since.

Season subscriptions are available for the following productions until Feb. 10, saving 11 percent: “The Elixir of Love,” “Feb. 13 and 14; “Carmen,” March 27; and “Coppélia,” April 27. Single tickets for this production are $35, $58, and $85, with special discount prices available for seniors, students, military personnel and groups of 10 or more. In addition, Wichita Grand Opera and Hawthorn Suites are offering a collaborative package for out-of-town patrons: two “Better” tickets and a one-evening stay at the East Wichita location will cost a total of $150. For reservations, call the Wichita Grand Opera Box Office at the number listed below.

For season subscriptions, single tickets or group discounts:

• Visit WGO Box Office, Third Floor of Century II Concert Hall at 225 W. Douglas, Wichita, KS between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

• Call the box office at (316) 262-8054.

• Visit any local Select-A-Seat outlet at local area Dillons stores (no group discounts available).

• Order online at www.selectaseat.com (no group discounts available).

For more information about this performance or the remainder of the 2009-10 season, visit the Web site at www.Wichita-GrandOpera.org. This Production is sponsored in part by The Cessna Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation and Mrs. Pete Armstrong.