In L’elisir d’amore the focus is on Nemorino, a young man in love. Nemorino is not the usual slick, seductive lover of comedy but an illiterate farm boy who has no idea how to woo a girl. All he can do is love. And yet the clumsy, passionate Nemorino gives L’elisir d’amore the Romantic touch that makes this opera buffa different from any other.
The music too has occasional sentimental overtones. Pleasant and festive, with magnificent ensembles and a delicate but brilliant sense of melody, it suits the genre perfectly. And it is this sense of melody that enables Donizetti, in the romance “Una furtiva lacrima”, to convey Nemorino’s delicate, intimate feelings with such superlative skill as to make him an atypical Romantic lover in the midst of an opera buffa.