Review: Opera North, The Elixir of Love Grand Theatre, Leeds

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If you are after something sunny and funny to drive away the winter blues then look no further.

Opera North’s revival of Donizetti’s frothy and unfailingly tuneful romance is like a sun-drenched package tour to 1950S Italy.

Daniel Slater’s colourful and engaging production is as sharp as an Italian suit and aimed as much at fashionistas as music lovers - all Vogue frocks and Vespa scooters. You almost expect Sophia Loren to turn up riding pillion.

The appealing cast is international, too - Korean Jung Soo Yun as a puppyish lovelorn waiter, Romanian soprano Gabriela Istoc (correct) as the object of his affections and Australian Richard Burkhard as the purveyor of the love potion that brings them together.

A Swede, Tobias Ringborg, gets the best from the orchestra, and the hard-working chorus, rarely off stage, help make this a consistently excellent and at timers spectacular night at the opera.

* Philip Andrews