Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

THE na­ture of New York-based so­prano Rachelle Durkin’s ca­reer means her one-year-old son Ethan is a well-trav­elled lit­tle man.

He has flown with her ev­ery­where from Kansas to Hawaii and is now on his first trip to Perth, and Durkin’s home city, as she re­turns to WA Opera for the com­pany’s sea­son of The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’amore).

The Gae­tano Donizetti opera is on at His Majesty’s The­atre from July 14 to 23 and sees Durkin re­united with tenor Aldo Di Toro af­ter the pair starred in Opera Aus­tralia’s The Elixir of Love sea­son in Mel­bourne last year un­der the di­rec­tion of Si­mon Phillips.

“It’s great to sing with Aldo, who I’ve grown up with re­ally,” Durkin said.

“We went to univer­sity to­gether at WA Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic, so we’ve known each other for a long time and have a big laugh in re­hearsals. We go way back and have sung a lot to­gether.”

This Phillips pro­duc­tion places the comic opera in the Aus­tralian out­back, still sung in Ital­ian with English sur­titles, and com­plete with cor­ru­gated iron set, lamb chops and fly swat­ting.

“Even if it’s your first opera, it’s a re­ally per­fect opera to go to sim­ply for the fact of fa­mil­iar­ity in the pro­duc­tion,” Durkin said.

“The sur­titles cer­tainly lend them­selves to an Aus­traliana ef­fect and even though it’s sung in Ital­ian, there’s all those Aus­tralian col­lo­qui­alisms that are easy to re­late to.”

The Elixir of Love fol­lows farm­hand Ne­morino (Di Toro) who is in love with the wealthy Adina (Durkin). Ne­morino falls for the lure of a trav­el­ling sales­man who sells him a ‘magic’ elixir of love to win Adina’s heart, with comic re­sults.

“You have to be care­ful be­cause Adina can come across quite nasty to Ne­morino; most of the opera she’s ig­nor­ing him,” Durkin said.

“She’s in­ter­ested in ma­te­rial things and has grown up with Ne­morino and I don’t think she looked at him twice.

“Even though she as­pires to be some­body else, she’s re­ally a sim­ple, lovely girl with a lot of sub­stance; I think she’s al­ways loved him, it just takes her a while to wake up to the fact.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d455782

Aldo di Toro and Rachelle Durkin star in The Elixir of Love.

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