Gaetano Donizetti

GAETANO DONIZETTI -  LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR - La Scala, 1992

Lucia                –  MARIELLA DEVIA
Enrico             – RENATO BRUSON
Edgardo          – VINCENZO LA SCOLA
Arturo             – MARCO BERTI
Raimondo       – CARLO COLOMBARA
Alisa                 – FLORIANA SOVILLA
Normanno       – ERNESTO GAVAZZI

Conductor        – STEFANO RANZANI
Chorus master – ROBERTO GABBIANI
Staging              – PIER’ALLI

0:08:00 – Tu sei turbato! (Enrico, Normanno - You are troubled!)
0:10:47 – Cruda... Funesta Smania (Enrico - A cruel, deadly clamour...)
0:15:14 – La Pietade in Suo Favore (Enrico - Pity for her)
0:21:12 – Regnava Nel Silenzio... Quando rapito in estasi...  (Lucia – Silence reigning... When delighted in the ecstasy)
0:32:53 – Sulla Tomba Che Rinserra... (Edgardo, Lucia – On the tomb which encloses...)
0:38:33 – Verranno a Te Sull’aura (Edgardo, Lucia – My ardent sighs will come to you)
0:46:46 – Appressati, Lucia... Soffriva nel Pianto... (Enrico, Lucia – Come closer, Lucia... I suffered in tears...)
1:04:12 – Al Ben De’ Tuoi Qual Vittima (Raimondo – For the good of your people…)
1:13:57 – Chi Mi Frena in Tal Momento?.. (Sextet – Who would restrain me at a time like this?..)
1:26:02 – Qui del padre ancor s’aggira... (Edgardo – Here the unavenged spirit of my father...)
1:35:12 – Dalle stanze ove Lucia... (Raimondo – From the room to which I brought Lucia...)
1:40:34 – Il Dolce Suono... (Lucia – The sweet sound... )
2:03:42 – Tombe Degli Avi Miei... Fra poco a me ricovero darà negletto avello... (Edgardo – Tombs of My Forefathers... Before long, a neglected tomb will shelter me...)
2:13:23 – Ove corri sventurato?.. Tu Che a Dio spiegasti l’ali (Edgardo – You who have spread your wings to God)

Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor is seldom read nowadays, for it is not one of his best. It nevertheless attracted opera composers as a promising subject, three of them—Bredal, Carafa, and Mazzucato—having made use of it before Donizetti. None of the earlier versions survives on the boards, and of all of Donizetti's works this is the one most frequently played.

He may have been additionally attracted to the subject because one of his grandfathers, Donald Izett, was a Scot Nevertheless, for the purposes of opera, the names of Scott's characters were sensibly changed to their more mellifluous Italian equivalents. Thus, Lucy becomes Lucia; Henry, Enrico; Edgar, Edgardo; but place names remain the same, and Ravenswood is Ravenswood still, though pronounced, “Rahvensvood." Other changes were made, too, besides the necessary cutting. For instance, Scott's Edgar meets a highly unoperatic end by wildly riding his horse into a quicksands. No tenor could sing two long arias ending in a high D-flat under such circumstances, and so Donizetti's Edgardo quite conventionally stabs himself. An Italian tenor is sure to sing well given this advantage. The final aria, by the way, one of the best ever written by Donizetti, was tossed off in half an hour while the composer was suffering from a severe headache.

But the opera is a vehicle primarily for a coloratura soprano, not for the tenor, and many great sopranos have chosen it as a debut piece m New York. Among them were Patti, Sembrich, Melba, Barrientos, and Lily Pons. Both Pons and Sembrich also chose the role to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversaries of their respective debuts at the Metropolitan.

Roles

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
(Lucy of Lammermoor)

 

Opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti with libretto in Italian by Salvatore Cammarano,
based on Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Bride of Lammermoor

 

LORD ENRICO ASHTON OF LAMMERMOOR
LUCIA
, his sister​
ALISA, her companion​
EDGARDO, Master of Ravenswood
LORD ARTURO BUCKLAW
RAIMONDO, chaplain of Lammermoor​
NORMANNO, follower of Ashton​

 

Time: 1669
Place: Scotland
First performance at Naples, September 26, 1835

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, (7 November 1926 - 10 October 2010) was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s.

49 Sopranos Hits High Eb in ''Spargi D'amaro Pianto''
Lucia Di Lammermoor

Characters

Lord Henry Ashton of Lammermoor:

 

Baritone. Brother of Lucia. He has become embroiled in political movements against the King and has also lost most of the family fortune. To save himself on both scores, he arranges his sister's marriage to Arturo. Discovering her love for his old family rival, Edgardo, he conspires to prove to Lucia that Edgardo has been unfaithful. When Edgardo appears just after the wedding, Lucia goes mad. Aria: Cruda, funesta smania (‘A cruel, deadly frenzy’); the famous sextet (with Edgardo, Lucia, Raimondo, Arturo, and Alisa), which he opens in duet with Edgardo: Chi raffrena il mio furore (‘Who checks my fury?’). Created (1835) by Domenico Cosselli.

Dame Joan Sutherland - "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Joan Sutherland--Lucia
João Gibin--Edgardo
John Shaw--Enrico
Joseph Rouleau--Raimondo
Tullio Serafin--Conductor
Royal Opera House, London, 1959

Lucy Ashton:

 

Soprano. Sister of Enrico, she is the Lucia of the opera's title. She is in love with Edgardo, but to save her brother's financial and political future, she is forced into marriage with Arturo, having been deceived into believing that her loved one has been unfaithful. As soon as she signs the marriage contract, Edgardo appears, and believing she has betrayed him he curses her. Lucia loses her senses, kills her new husband, collapses, and dies. Arias: Quando rapita in estasi… (‘When, lost in ecstasy’); the famous ‘mad scene’: Il dolce suono mi colpì di sua voce! (‘I was struck by the sweet sound of his voice!’); sextet (with Edgardo, Enrico, Raimondo, Arturo, and Alisa): Io sperai che a me la vita tronca avesse il mio spavento (‘I hoped that terror would cut short my life’). This is one of opera's most famous coloratura show‐roles, and the one in which Joan Sutherland burst on to the international scene at Covent Garden in 1959. Created (1835) by Fanny Tacchinardi‐Persiani.

Joan Sutherland - Lucia di Lammermoor (1986 Sydney)

Lucia - Joan Sutherland
Enrico - Malcolm Donnelly
Edgardo - Richard Greager
Arturo - Sergei Baigildin
Raimondo - Clifford Grant
Normanno - Robin Donald
Alisa - Patricia Price
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Alisa:

 

Mezzo-soprano. Lucia's old nursemaid and companion. One of the famous sextet (with Edgardo, Enrico, Lucia, Raimondo, and Arturo), her first line being Come rosa inaridita (‘Like a withered rose’). Created (1835) by Teresa Zappucci.

Mad Scene - Joan Sutherland (Chicago, 1975)

Lucia di Lammermoor  - Joan Sutherland
Raimondo Bidebent - Agostino Ferrin
Enrico Ashton - Lorenzo Saccomani

Chorus and Orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Edgar Ravenswood:

 

Tenor. There is long‐standing rivalry between his family and the Ashtons of Lammermoor. Lucia's brother Enrico, on learning that Edgardo and Lucia love each other, conspires to break up the relationship so his sister can marry Arturo Ashton and save the family fortune and reputation. While Edgardo is in France fighting the Stuart cause, Lucia reluctantly marries Arturo. Edgardo returns as the wedding ceremony finishes and accuses Lucia of betraying him. He curses her and the House of Lammermoor. Enrico challenges him to a duel, but after hearing that Lucia has gone mad and died, Edgardo kills himself with his sword. Aria: Tombe degl‘avi miei… (‘Tombs of my fathers’); duet (with Lucia): Sulla tomba (‘Over the tomb’); the famous sextet (with Enrico, Lucia, Raimondo, Arturo, and Alisa, which he opens in duet with Enrico): Chi mi frena in tal momento? (‘Who curbs me at such a moment?’). Created (1835) by Gilbert‐Luis Duprez.

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR - SUTHERLAND 
Lucia - Joan Sutherland
Edgardo - Alfredo Kraus
Enrico - Vincenzo Sardinero
Raimondo - Harry Dworchak
Arturo - José (Josep) Ruiz
Alisa - Maria Àngels Sarroca
Normanno - Alfredo Heilbron
Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Richard Bonynge, conductor.

Lord Arthur Bucklaw:

 

Tenor. Lucia agrees to marriage with him to save her brother's fortune and political skin. Takes part (with Edgardo, Enrico, Lucia, Raimondo, and Alisa) in the famous sextet, his opening line being Qual terribile momento (‘What a terrible moment’). Created (1835) probably by Achille Balestraccii.

Sutherland and Pavarotti - Lucia Duet

Raymond Bidebent:

 

Bass. Raimondo, the Lammermoor chaplain. He reminds Lucia of her responsibility to her family and her duty to marry Arturo. He later announces to the wedding guests that Lucia has killed Arturo and gone mad. Takes part (with Edgardo, Enrico, Lucia, Arturo, and Alisa) in the famous sextet, his first words being Qual terribile momento! (‘What a terrible moment!’). Created (1835) by Carlo Porto(-Ottolini).

Lucia di Lammermoor - 1982 at the Metropolitan Opera.
The famous sextet, sung by Pablo Elvira, Joan Sutherland, Alfredo Kraus, Jeffrey Stamm, Paul Plishka, Ariel Bybee,
and the Metropolitan Opera Chorus. Conducted by Richard Bonynge. 

Normanno:

 
( Normanno ) ( Donizetti : Lucia di Lammermoor ). Ten. A supporter of Lucia's brother Enrico. He helps Enrico to deceive Lucia into believing that her lover, Edgardo, has been unfaithful. Created ( 1835 ) by Teofilo Rossi.

Joan Sutherland - Lucia: Mad Scene - 1965

                                        Synopsis

 

ACT I ("The Departure")
 

Scene 1 In the garden of Lord Enrico Ashton's castle a group of guards, under their leader Normanno, is searching for a prowler. While they are out beating the bushes, Enrico himself tells Normanno and the family chaplain, Raimondo, about his straitened circumstances. He hopes to improve them by arranging a marriage between his sister Lucia and the wealthy Lord Arturo Bucklaw. Unfortunately, Lucia is unwilling to cooperate. Normanno, having a shrewd suspicion as to the cause of Lucia's unwillingness, tells of the day when a certain stranger saved her from a maddened bull and how the two meet secretly each morning in the park. That stranger is Edgardo of Ravenswood, who happens to be Enrico’s chief enemy.
 

At this opportune moment the guards return. They have caught sight of the trespasser but have been unable to apprehend him. However, they do report unequivocally that he is none other than Edgardo. The scene ends as Enrico energetically expresses his hatred of the man who is an enemy of the family and who threatens to upset his plans for Lucia’s marriage of convenience.

Scene 2 is introduced by an extremely pretty harp solo—perhaps suggesting the park where the scene takes place, perhaps the two pretty young women who are deep in earnest consultation beside the fountain. Lucia of Lammermoor tells her attendant, Alisa, a kind of ghost story about that fountain, and Alisa warns her that it would be better to give up the lover she meets at this place. But Lucia insists on her love for Edgardo and sings his praises. The story of the fountain is told in a smoothly flowing melody (Regnava nel silenzio) and her love is sung in the cabaletta of the aria (Quando rapita in estasi).
 

When Edgardo comes to meet his love, Alisa tactfully retires. He must, he says,depart for France; but before going, he would like to become reconciled with Enrico and tell him of his love. This idea frightens Lucia, who begs him not to do so. Edgardo bitterly recounts the reasons he has for hating the Ashtons, but the scene ends with a loving farewell duet (Verrmno a te sull' a ure) in which first Lucia, then Edgardo, then both together sing one of the finest melodies in this ever-melodious opera.

ACT II ("The Marriage Contract")
 

Scene 1  Through a conversation between Enrico and Normanno that takes place in a hall of the castle of Lammermoor, we hear that all of Edgardo's letters to Lucia have been intercepted. In addition, a letter has been forged to show that Edgardo has been unfaithful to Lucia and is now married to someone else. When Normanno retires, Enrico uses every device possible to persuade his sister to marry Arturo. He breaks her heart by showing her the forged letter, and he adds that it is her duty to the family to marry her wealthy suitor. Poor Lucia never actually consents to the marriage, but she is too distracted to resist.

Scene 2 As a matter of fact, Lord Arturo is already at the castle, and the next scene takes place in the great hall. There is a festal wedding chorus; Arturo pledges his good faith; and when Lucia, still in tears, comes in, the marriage contract is signed.
 

Just at this point a heavily cloaked stranger enters. It is Edgardo, returned from France; and when he sees the signed marriage contract, he turns on Lucia and all his enemies in wraths and with drawn sword. It is only the faithful old chaplain, Raimondo, who saves the wedding party from ending in bloodshed and murder. In the ensuing Sextet from Lucia, all the principals, not to mention the chorus of wedding guests, express their many conflicting emotions at the same time—and with stunning effect. At its close Edgardo marches angrily from the hall.

ACT III
 

Scene 1 Immediately following the wedding, Enrico visits Edgardo in ms lonely room in the Wolfscrag tower to vilify him and to taunt him with the details of the ceremony. The two men defy each other heroically and, in the final duet. agree to meet at dawn to fight a duel among the moldering tombstones of Ravenswood. The scene is usually omitted in performance.
 

Scene 2 The assembled wedding guests are still making merry in the great hall when Raimondo, the chaplain, interrupts the gaiety. Lucia, he announces in horrified accents, her mind having deserted her, has murdered Arturo.
 

A moment later Lucia herself appears. She is still in her nightdress. She looks deathly pale, almost like a ghost, and carries the fatal dagger. Now comes the celebrated Mad Scene. Lucia imagines herself with Edgardo; she relives some of their earlier and happier days; she imagines herself married to him. And at the end, knowing that death is near, she promises to wait for him.
 

Scene 3 takes us outside the castle, where Edgardo is wandering, disconsolate, among the graves of his ancestors. A train of mourners, led by Raimondo, interrupts his sad philosophizing. He asks for whom they are mourning, and learns of the sad events that have just taken place. A death bell tolls. It is for Lucia. Only now does Edgardo realize that she has always been faithful to him. He sings his final farewell (Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali - "Thou hast spread thy wings to heaven") and then, before Raimondo can stop him,plunges a dagger into his own heart. With the cello taking up the melody, he breathes his last words of farewell.
 

Postscript for the historically curious:
Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor was based on a real marriage of convenience resulting in tragedy that took place in Scotland in 1669. Janet Dalrymple (Lucia) attacked her new husband, David Dunbar (Arturo), whom she had been forced to marry by her father, Viscount Stair (Enrito) instead of the man she loved, Lord Rutherford (Edgardo). In real life the unsuccessful suitor was the bridegroom’s uncle. 

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