Watching the opera we are made to feel safe and superior onlookers to Dulcamara's skills in sales and marketing.
As onlookers from the auditorium we look down on those foolish villagers in the Basque village as they are drawn in to Dulcamara's sales pitch .
Our self satisfied superiority is re-enforced by the leading soprano character Adina a wealthy landowner who does not realise or admit that she loves her hapless and besotted lover Nemorino ( tenor solo). She also has little time for Dr Dulcamara and like us not so gullible.
Yet why is this travelling medicine salesman so persuasive?
OK we find out the elixir is just cheap Bordeaux but why is everyone taken in ?
Well both he or more truthfully Donizetti, I believe, have much to teach us about human nature and the craft of selling. We maybe be laughing at the credulous villagers but I feel Donizetti is laughing at us through Dr Dulcamara.
We can all be taken in. We are humans and we are gullible. We are often more emotionally driven than rationally driven.
To opera lovers the character of Dr Dulcamara can be conventionally pigeon holed as a lovable rogue, a cad and a swindler.
Dulcarama is prepared with a host of great tunes and the "gift of the gab", which make him irresistible to us.
On the surface we might just think that his arrival is simply to roll up and make a fast back
Dulcamara's arrival is heralded by a trumpet fanfare. (Perhaps we can hear resonances of Donald Trump's rolling show to be the Republicans' candidate for the next president. )
There are lots of 10 minute You tube clips you can download but before you watch and enjoy it sung , why not take a look at the English translation and see how the presentation skills of sales and marketing are deftly conveyed albeit from a comedic perspective.
His aria is a patter song but within let's examine the text and take a closer look . I have added in brackets some of his skills which we may still recognise today.
NB I don't for one minute suggest we copy Dr Dulcamara's lack of ethics and lawbreaking but just take a look at his communication technique.
Asking folk to keep a secret- special knowledge
especially for you. Ahead of the market
|Heralding your arrival has always been part|
of Marketing profession Such as these Circus Posters
(The importance of an attention getter -The trumpet heralding his arrival has done its work presaging the main act )
( But just in case, this who I am ! Repeating your name to your clients is helpful)
( Assure them as a trusted adviser, a partner . Telling is not selling. Develop a relationship)
(This is what I do - an elevator pitch benefit shared)
(These are the problems I solve)
(There's one hell of a claim to catch their attention. Would this get Health secretary Jeremy Hunt's attention today I wonder ! :) )
( "Roll up, Roll up" Gather round)
( The Value. The Cost .A bargain)
(Colgate Palmolive must be quaking in their boots !)
( A Vermin eradicator the Pest Control Industry must be worried !)
(Verbal proof, testimonies , third part reference all to COSH standards ISO etc -probably not )
('White paper' case study - proof of claim)
( The Power of Questions to attract attention
Pushing the hot button of your prospects)
(It's an anti wrinkle cream as well)
(it's a moisturiser and skin care treatment 'because you are worth it' - Oreal)
( It's an aphrodisiac , sex sells etc.)
( Although a speciality product - a good price)
(Whatever it is the global Pharma companies must be very worried. Just take a look all these clinical solutions :) )
(Talk about "a one stop shop "! )
(Relationship management writ large and laid on thick ! )
(A BARGAIN )
( Internationally accepted , track record)
( Tracker Benchmark positioning and pricing)
(Loyalty , sentiment and nationality sells )
(Persuasive word picture)
For all our cynicism we are swept up both by the fabulous music, the skill of the Baritone Singer spitting out the words like a machine gun.
Dr Dulcamara can be found singing (and selling) around the world this 2016
Wiener Staatsoper 10.06.2016 - 13.06.2016
Opera Philadelpia April 29 May1, 4, 6 and 8 at Academy of Music Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Western Australia Opera His Majesty's Theatre 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 July