Nemorino, a peasant, is in love with the wealthy landowner Adina, but she has eyes only for dashing Sergeant Belcore. Dr Dulcamara, a quack doctor, sells Nemorino a love potion (actually, cheap wine) that will cause Adina to fall in love with him within a day. When Adina announces that she is to marry Belcore in six days, Nemorino is confident the elixir will work in time. But Belcore’s regiment is called away and the wedding brought forward to that very afternoon. Desperate for money to buy more of the potion, Nemorino enlists and takes the king’s shilling, unaware that his uncle has died, leaving him a fortune. The village girls are immediately attracted to Nemorino, though he believes it is the potion rather than the money that has attracted them. But Nemorino has spied a tell-tale tear in Adina’s eye – she has been touched by his devotion. Adina buys Nemorino’s discharge from the army, rejects Belcore, and the couple are united. Dr Dulcamara’s elixir has worked!
A full synopsis for this opera is available in the programme, on sale at theatres immediately prior to performances.