Donizetti was once approached by a desperate Milanese theater manager who needed a new opera in two weeks. Given the urgency, he suggested that Donizetti revamp another man's work. "Are you making fun of me?" he exclaimed. "I am not accustomed to patching up my own old operas, let alone another composer's. I'll give you a new opera in fourteen days. Now send me Felice Romani..." "I give you one week to prepare the text," he told the librettist. "It must be set to music in fourteen days. Let's see which of us has guts!" The result? L'Elisir d'amore.
Gaetano Donizetti, the composer of more than seventy operas, was once asked which of his works he considered the best. "How can I say which?" he replied. "A father always has a preference for a crippled child - and I have so many!"