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Drink Up, for Love 

Just what the doctor ordered

Nemorino is a poor and humble Italian peasant who longs for the love of the noble Adina. Adina enjoys Nemorino's attention and half-playfully, half-cruelly taunts him about it — and even flirts openly with the bold soldier, Belcore. In desperation, Nemorino turns to traveling medicine man Dr. Dulcamara for a potion that will make him irresistible to his lady fair. The good doctor deftly supplies Nemorino with the most potent love philter of all — booze — and further burnishes his reputation as a top-notch quack. And yet after imbibing, Nemorino becomes so confident as to be disdainful of Adina, and her interest is piqued. Ah, the ways of love are ever fickle, and ever aided by a little drink — especially in Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera L'Elisir d'Amore. Union Avenue Opera opens its fourteenth season with a new production of this popular tale of love and liquids at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 11 through 19) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; www.unionavenueopera.org or 314-361-2881). All performances are in the original Italian with English supertitles; tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: July 11. Continues through July 19, 2008

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Speaking of Highlights, Gaetano Donizetti

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