'Elixir' was just what the doctor ordered

The elixir in Donizetti’s comic opera, “L‘elisir d‘amore (‘The Elixir of Love’),” is a sham meant to deceive. However, the Virginia Opera’s production of this pleasant work is anything but; it’s the real deal when it comes to providing a potion for enjoyment as heard Sunday in Richmond’s Carpenter Theatre.

One of the more popular bel canto comic operas of all times, “Elixir” is a tale of love sought, rebuked and gained, all centered around a fake love potion that ultimately ends up winning the day for everyone, even to the point of elevating to celebrity status the charlatan doctor pushing cheap wine as a cure all for all things.

To be sure, it’s a paper-thin plot inspired...