Lucia di Lammermoor
In the early 19th century, opera in Italy was all about showing off the voice, and Opera Colorado's current production of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor is no exception. Since it was first produced in Naples in 1835, it has been a popular vehicle for coloratura soprano, and Jennifer Welch-Babidge, who has the title role at the Buell, navigates the demanding bel canto style with aplomb.
Based on Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, the opera tells the story of a woman forced to abandon the love of her life and marry against her wishes to protect her brother's situation. Here Welch-Babidge's acting talents compliment her marvelous voice, as she moves from a foreboding vision to a bittersweet tryst with her lover, and finally to her shocking madness.
|Jennifer Welch-Babidge as|
Lucia di Lammermoor and
Jorge Antonio Pita as Edgardo
Strong supporting performances by baritone Scott Hendricks, as Lucia's dastardly brother Enrico, and tenor Jorge Antonio Pita, as her lover Edgardo, add to the dazzling vocal display. All this virtuosity is orchestrated by Stephen Lord, who nurtures Donizetti's dynamic score and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to powerful effect.
as Enrico Ashton
James Robinson's direction keeps the focus on the principals, while a window effect (reminiscent of color field painting by the abstract impressionists) on Christine Jones' set pieces reveals the psychological subtext.
as Lucia di Lammermoor,
in the madness scene,
one of the most famous
in all of opera.
Welch-Babidge will be performing this role with the New York City Opera this fall, and for good reason—she is fabulous. Opera Colorado's Lucia di Lammermoor runs through February 23rd. 303-893-4100.