In Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
(1835) there is everything that should attract a true music lover: a love story full of passion, the romantic atmosphere of Northern Britain where the opera is takes place, and,obviously, beautiful belcanto
Gaetano Donizetti’s opera was inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor which was incredibly popular at that time. The conflict in the story is based on the long-standing feud between two Scottish clans, the Ravenswoods and the Ashtons, and is aggravated by Enrico Ashton’s sister Lucia’s love for Ravenswood’s son, Edgardo, which fact is perceived by the others as dishonour to the Ashton clan. To repair his dented political position, Enrico plans to marry his sister off to Lord Arturo Bucklaw. To that end, he tries to make her submit to the wedding by showing her a forged letter about Edgardo’s infidelity. Shocked with her lover’s unfaithfulness, Lucia signs the marriage contract with Lord Bucklaw, which act entails a swing of tragic events…
Love, jealousy, murder, madness… Lucia di Lammermoor is considered to be one of Donizetti’s most popular operas. The brilliant part of Lucia has invariably been in the repertoire of many celebrated sopranos, including Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé and Edita Gruberova. The tenor part of Edgardo is no less effective; the closer is the opera’s finale, the higher are the notes. Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is an example of the Italian romantic musical drama. Having absorbed the opera traditions of the previous period, it kind of throws a bridge between the Mozart musical theatre and Verdi’s dramatic operas.
Hans-Joachim Frey, stage director:
“Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the key pieces of the Italian opera art at its zenith, a belcanto masterpiece! The main component of the opera’s musical drama is the melody: the flexible legato of singing expresses wholly the depth of life and love. At the same time, Lucia di Lammermoor is a psychological drama full of intrigues. The love story of Lucia and Edgardo is akin to the story of Romeo and Juliet. They come from the feuding families and fight for their love, trying to resist the endless intrigues. In the finale of the opera they kill themselves, as they see no other way to defend their eternal love.
In our production at the Novaya Opera it is very important for us to show these deep emotions. The opera is set in Scotland in the 15th century, and we will create impressive stage sets to take us to that period. They combine black-and-white aesthetics with the deliberately chosen expressive colour; and this synthesis is meant to create a special visual magic. This is a reflection of the wonderful belcanto style in the visual idiom and the basis for an ideal psychocrime theatrical production, which relates the story of Lucia and Edgardo. The great opera, beautiful scenes in the aesthetics of that time will make an evening of strong emotions with Donizetti’s wonderful music!”
Pyotr Okunev, set designer:
“When the stage director and I started working on the production, we quickly decided on the aesthetics needed, and the rest was details. The epoch in which the opera is set is too colourful and luxuriant for the Gothic plot of Donizetti’s opera. Therefore, while preserving the historical costume style and elements of Renaissance architecture, we have used an absolutely up-to-date colour score, which, on the one hand,enhances the drama of the plot at the visual level and, on the other hand, gives a different perspective of the Renaissance aesthetics”.
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