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West Bay brings opera love in February

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West Bay Opera celebrates the Valentine season with L'elisir d'amore opening February 14 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

The comic opera tells the story of a poor peasant who uses a “magic” elixir to gain the love of a wealthy woman and as well as wealth in his own right.

Music for L'elisir d'amore or The Elixir of Love was written by Gaetano Donizetti in 1831. Felice Romani wrote the libretto.

Tenor Chester Pidduck makes his West Bay Opera debut singing Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore. He sang with both the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera choruses for four years. He sang Nemorino with High Desert Opera in Colorado. Like Pidduck, soprano María Fernanda Brea is making her West Bay Opera debut. She sang the role of Giannetta in a Teatro Don Bosco production of L'elisir d'amore. The Venezuela native studied at the Escuela Superior de Música José Angel Lamas in Caracas and is currently completing her Vocal Performance Degree at Manhattan School of Music.

José Luis Moscovich is both the general director and conductor. David Cox directs.

Beginning in 1955 as an opera workshop, West Bay Opera presents three fully-staged productions per season, in October, February, and May. All performances are held at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Pal Alto and sung in the original opera language with projected English subtitles. Before each production, West Bay Opera brings outreach performances to schools, corporations, shopping malls, community centers, colleges, universities, and retirement communities.

Performances for L'elisir d'amore are 8 p.m. Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 22. Matinees will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, February 16 and Sunday, February 23.

Tickets are $40 to $75. The Lucie Stern Theatre is located at 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 9430.

For more information about L'elisir d'amore West Bay Opera, contact 650.843.3900 or visit www.wbopera.org.

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