Rarely does one emerge from the opera feeling that it has been huge fun.

Opera usually takes itself much too seriously for that. But Donizetti's comedy is different - and in Daniel Slater's production, to David Parry's translation, it is an absolute winner.

Nothing could be better calculated to dispel winter blues. Under a clear blue sky, Robert Innes Hopkins's set puts us on the terrace of a Riviera hotel restaurant, just off the beach. We can't see over the sea wall, but palm trees and a convenient oil painting complete the conceit.

Everyone's enjoying the sun. The navy's in port, with Belcore in command. Adina is owner-manager of the hotel, with Nemorino one of her waiters and Giannetta her PA. Amidst this rowdy gathering, Dulcamara lands by balloon, peddling his own brand of hot air. Well-tailored 1950s fashions and a Lambretta or two make it an Alitalia utopia.

Slater is so slick that every last one of his cast has a distinctive role: the pill-popping sugar daddy enjoying the ministrations of a buxom nurse, young (and old) things in amorous dalliance, hustling bar-staff, vendors and rubberneckers. The chorus of drunken ladies is brilliantly choreographed.

Sight gags are two-a-penny. But the music is in equally good hands. Andrew Kennedy's Nemorino makes the difficult transition from gawky admirer to self-confident lover in easy stages. There is a winning pathos to his tone, not least in the final phrase of "Una furtiva lagrima".

Anna Ryberg's Adina is a real charmer, under whose initially hard-nosed exterior beats a loving heart. Her coloratura is exquisite, too, though she is perhaps a little light at the bottom of her range. Peter Savidge maintains a smooth patter as Dulcamara, always with an eye to the main chance, and admirably complemented by his young assistant, Aaron Eastwood. Riccardo Simonetti's smugly debonair Belcore and Susanna Andersson's pert Giannetta throw in further colour.

Tecwyn Evans gives the singers every liberty they need and his orchestra twitters prettily every step of the way. Terrific fun, never a dull moment.

* Further Leeds performances on February 1, 9 & 17, and March 14 & 16. Box office (0870) 122 4362.