MUSCAT: Gaetano Donizetti’s great Romantic opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, will be performed by Teatro Carlo Felice di Genoa and staged by the famed filmmaker Dario Argento who creates a fascinating reconstruction of Scottish gothic settings.
Donizetti (1787-1848) was inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, published in 1819.
Scottish oral history
Based on a scenario from Scottish oral history, the story takes place at the end of the 16th century in the brooding lowlands of Scotland where it is men who rule the realm. Clan rivalries, political manoeuvring and ancient vendettas leave no place for a woman who falls in love with the wrong man.
The heroine, Lucy (Lucia) Ashton, whose beloved Edgar happens to be an enemy of her family, cannot fulfil her dream of happiness she hoped love would bring, and is driven mad.
Lucia is caught in the dangerous and brutal web of her brother’s manipulations, her lover’s jealous rage, and the implacable enmity between her clan and Edgar’s.
When Lucia is bullied into an arranged marriage, her fragile spirit is shattered. In the most celebrated mad scene in all of opera, Donizetti’s entrancing melodic lines are entwined with Lucia’s unravelling emotions expressed in powerful soprano coloratura. This work represents the archetype of early Italian Romantic opera with stunning bel canto enacting deeply emotional passions in the context of murder, madness, and doom, all spun out in song.
Lucia di Lammermoor represents grand Italian opera at its best in 19th-century romantic tragedy. It is a riveting tale with glorious bel canto and gorgeous music by the superb orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice di Genoa.
The story of this opera has relevance to the world of today as it is an unfortunate fact that forced marriages have not disappeared in some cultures.
Two more famous Donizetti operas will be presented at the Royal Opera House this season –L’ElisirD’Amore, a charming comic opera about the wonders of a love potion performed by the illustrious La Fenice of Venice on the 17th, 19th and 20th of February 2016; and La Fille du Regiment, a magnificent comic opera about a young girl raised by an entire regiment, performed by Palermo’s Teatro Massimo on May 11, 12, 14, 2016.