Lucia di Lammermoor
This gem from the golden age of grand opera is exactly that, in Opera Colorado's current production of Gaetano Donizetti's classic. Everything about the story and this production is larger than life.
While Lucia's tale is a nightmare for her, her arias are a diva's dream, culminating in the mad scene of the third act. Anna Christy, in the coveted soprano role, fills the Ellie with sweet, soaring melodies and translucent coloratura, while wearing her heart on her sleeve as a young woman sacrificed to her brother's ambitions.
|The grand operatic setting.|
The libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, was freely adapted from Sir Walter Scott's historical novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, which was based loosely on actual events. Lucia falls in love with Edgardo (Eric Barry), whose family has been stripped of their title and whose lands have been taken over by her brother, Enrico (Timothy Mix). Lucia fails to heed the warnings of her companion, Alisa (Marcia Ragonetti); thus, Lucia's trysts with Edgardo—reported by Normanno (Omar Najmiˆ, the Captain of the Guard)—enrage Enrico, who has made a deal with Arturo (Brett Sprague), a nobleman, for Lucia's hand, to protect his interests as a new sovereign comes to power.
|Anna Christy as Lucia|
After Enrico gives Lucia a forged letter that he says is from Edgardo, Raimondo (Matthew Treviño), Lucia's chaplain and tutor, who otherwise is a voice of reason, is enlisted to convince Lucia to do her brother's bidding. Thus, church and state conspire to misuse this woman for the purposes of male power and profit. Sound familiar?
|Eric Barry as Edgardo|
|Anna Christy as Lucia|
Barry's passionate tenor comes through full force: especially, as we come to the climax, when Edgardo returns to find that Lucia is about to wed Arturo, breaking the vows that she and Edgardo made to each other, before he was called away temporarily to France; and again, when his anger turns to sorrow as he imagines Lucia in her wedding bed and then learns she has killed Arturo and perished herself. This crushing news leads Edgardo to take his own life. Ah, the Italians! They sure know how to take a good tragedy and make it even juicier!
The voices of the ensemble are stellar, as well: Mix's burnished baritone, Treviño's commanding bass, Ragonetti's warm mezzo, and Sprague's and Najmiˆ's well-tempered tenors.
The sets, designed by Robert R. O'Hearn, courtesy of the Utah Symphony and the Utah Opera are simply magnificent, adding immeasurably to the magnitude of the context. Susan Memmott Allred's costumes, also courtesy of the Utah Symphony & Opera, as well as the additional nightgown for Lucia by Ann Piano, are a delight. Maestro Ari Pelto and the Opera orchestra's rendition of Donizetti's score provides sublime shadings and timely power.
Opera Colorado's presentation of Lucia di Lammermoor runs through May 14th. For tickets: https://www.operacolorado.org/tickets.