PHOTO: © Foto © 2012, Leo Seidel

Lucia di Lammermoor

In the organizer's words:
A historicizing stage space forms the backdrop for Lucia's tragedy, which is negotiated as a pledge of military alliances. Her heart belongs to Edgardo, the mortal enemy of her brother Enrico, who has other plans for his sister. With its nostalgic atmosphere, Filippo Sanjust's production is a classic in the repertoire ... Conductor: Carlo Montanaro / Ivan Repušić; Director: Filippo Sanjust; With Thomas Lehman / Andrzej Filończyk, Aigul Kishmatullina / Adela Zaharia, Ioan Hotea, Andrei Danilov / Matthew Newlin, Gerard Farreras / Byung-Gil Kim and others.
Enrico wants to marry his sister Lucia to the powerful Lord Arturo Bucklaw to save his existence. Lucia, on the other hand, has sworn eternal allegiance to Edgardo Ravenswood, Enrico's mortal enemy, who claims ancient rights to his property. With a forged letter accusing Edgardo of infidelity, and by blaming Lucia for the family's downfall, Enrico succeeds in persuading Lucia to marry Lord Bucklaw. Edgardo appears at the wedding and curses Lucia. She kills her husband. Edgardo challenges Enrico to a duel. Lucia is stricken with madness, which leads to death. Edgardo stabs himself when he hears the death knell.

Donizetti's most famous tragic opera is based on Sir Walter Scott's popular 1819 novel, The Bride of Lammermoor. Salvatore Cammarano took a radical approach in his libretto, not only neglecting the political premises of the conflict between the Ashtons and Ravenswoods and relegating the entire back story to a few hints in the dialogues, but also reducing the novel's complex web of relationships to the conflicts between Enrico Ashton, his sister Lucia and their lover Edgardo.

Director and set designer Filippo Sanjust's production is set in the period in which the work was written (1835). An intermediate curtain with painted flowing royal blue drapery and a girl wandering in ghostly fluttering robes suggests the romantic theater space. The stage sets are reminiscent of reprint editions of old books. The black robes, red sashes, white collars, plumes of feathers and gauntlets of the Scottish men provide a colorful contrast - and an appropriate setting for one of the major works of Italian bel canto.

It was to the credit of Maria Callas that Donizetti's works, neglected even in Italy, were brought to new life. From recordings one knows the almost vibratoless, intimate emotional tone of Callas, which, as for many roles of the highly dramatic coloratura, also set standards for the interpretation of Lucia.

The actions of the protagonists are determined by extreme passions: on the one hand by Enrico's hatred of Edgardo (Cavatine "Cruda ... funesta smania", Act 1) and of Lucia, who opposes his plans, and on the other hand by Lucia's love for Edgardo (Cavatine "Regna nel silenzio", Act 1). That this love also means Lucia's downfall is masterfully expressed in Donizetti's music: the coloraturas that describe her being overwhelmed by love in Act 1 become signs of her mental confusion in her mad aria at the dramatic climax of the opera.

A second moment of extreme emotional drama is the sextet "Chi mi frena in tal momento" in Act 2. Of this sextet, Giacomo Puccini wrote: "In one respect we Italians surpass the German composers, namely in the ability to express infinite sadness in the major key. Edgardo and Lucia are deeply distraught - so much so that Lucia finally succumbs to madness and Edgardo commits suicide; and what do we find in the singing voice? Sugar plums! Sweet honey! - although Lucia sings: "I am betrayed by heaven and earth! I would cry, but tears are denied me. Despair consumes my heart." This sextet is rightly considered the most famous operatic ensemble tune ever written. It is a masterpiece of polyphony ..." This content has been machine translated.


Deutsche Oper Berlin Bismarckstr. 35 10627 Berlin

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