Believe me, Adina

Adina, believe me, I beg you.
You can not marry him ... I assure you ...
Wait a little more ... just one day ...
A brief day ... I know why,
Tomorrow, dearest, you would be sorry;
It would cause us both sorrow.

Thank Heaven, you baboon,
That you’re crazy or drunk!
I would have strangled you, torn you to pieces,
If you were in your right mind.
So I don’t lose control of myself,
Get out, fool, get out of my sight.

Pity him, he is a boy; misguided, half crazy.
He’s convinced that I must love him,
Because he’s desperately in love with me.

(I want to get my revenge, I want to torment him,
I want him to fall contrite at my feet.)

Just look at that simpleton!
He has the strange idea
he can measure up to a sergeant,
To a man of the world, to whom he is no equal.
Oh yes, my word, the lovely Adina would really
Be a tasty morsel for you!

L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti

A young villager, Nemorino, is in love with Adina, but despairs of attracting such a wealthy, beautiful woman. He hears Adina retelling the tale of Tristan and Isolde and is intrigued by the magical power of a love potion. A troop of soldiers come to the village and their sergeant, Belcore, smitten with Adina, proposes marriage. She wants time to consider, and later tells Nemorino he should be like her, changing affections every day. Then a travelling charlatan, Dr Dulcamara, arrives in the village to sell his remedies. Nemorino asks him for a love potion. Dulcamara immediately obliges, taking all Nemorino’s money and telling him the potion will take effect in 24 hours. (The potion is simply a flask of wine.) Newly confident after taking the “potion”, Nemorino feigns indifference to Adina, certain she will succumb the next day to the powers of the magic elixir. Taken aback, Adina agrees to marry Belcore within the week, but the wedding is brought forward to the same day as Belcore has been ordered to move on. Nemorino pleads with Adina to delay the marriage, but she refuses and wedding plans swing into action.

When it comes time, however, Adina delays the ceremony, waiting for Nemorino. He, meanwhile, has turned to Dulcamara for another potion. In order to pay for it, he joins the military. Suddenly, the girls of the village shower Nemorino with their attentions. They have heard on the grapevine that Nemorino’s uncle has died and left him his riches. Ignorant of this, Nemorino believes the potion is working. Adina, also in the dark, feels confused and put out. Nemorino has an inkling of her true feelings for him when he sees a tear in her eye. Dulcamara tells her about the potion and what Nemorino has done to win her love. She realises that she does indeed love him, buys back his army contract and confesses her love to Nemorino. Belcore is not too upset, declaring there are many other women attracted by his charms. Dulcamara is ecstatic – he has proof of the power of his potions to bring love and riches. The whole village celebrates.

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