Rolando Villazón’s Wild Western wows Leipzig

Over in the Wild Wild West…

French/Mexican tenor and stage director, Rolando Villazón is staging a gem of the bel canto repertoire as a Spaghetti Western at the Opera Leipzig.

The versatile, world-renowned artist turns Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s bubbly romantic comedy ‘L’elisir d’amore’ (The elixir of love) into a 1940s cowboy movie set.

“I want to bring the idea of the make-believe world,” says Villazón.

“We relate enormously to the world of Western there’s so many westerns and who has not played like you are a cowboy and you are an apache and then comes the sheriff and this is really a world that that fills us with a lot of fantasies and imagination.”

This richly coloured universe wows the Opera Leipzig.

“You have never seen such an approach for L’Elisir. There is so much happening on stage. It’s like a good movie,” says tenor Piotr Buszewski.

At the heart of the action is Nemorino, burning with love for the beautiful Adina, he thinks a potion he’s bought from a charlatan has taken effect.

“He (Rolando) used a lot of elements of clownery…” explains soprano Bianca Tognocchi.

“…and also Commedia dell’arte, some really old, old things of my culture and I also see a lot of puppet theatre.”

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