“I am obliged to set a libretto to music within fourteen days. I give you one week to prepare it for me. We shall see which of the two of us has the most courage.” Donizetti’s instructions to his librettist Romani signalled the beginning of the composition of L’Elisir d’amore, an opera that is, without a doubt, the Italian composer’s comic masterpiece. Laurent Pelly’s playful production transposes this melodramma giocoso into the Italy of the 1960s – complete with bales of hay and Vespas. The staging is a deft combination of fantasy and poetry, from the roaring arrival of Doctor Dulcamara to Nemorino’s legendary romance to Adina. This production of the quintessential bel canto opera has become a Paris Opera classic that cannot be missed.