Lucia di Lammermoor

by Gaetano Donizetti

The Metropolitan Opera

New York
  • April 2018
    19:30 > 22:30
    3 hours
  • April 2018
    20:00 > 23:00
    3 hours
Find out more about the Cast , the Composition , the Composer or what the Reviews say

Lucia di Lammermoor


Press & Reviews

Forum Opera
Jean Michel Pennetier
Fire and ice
This season's Lucia di Lammermoor [...] allows her to make a real triumphant debut in the New York theater. Although she does not have the exceptional means of Joan Sutherland, Jessica Pratt is in the exact same path of her illustrious predecessor, with an interpretation based on singing excellence. The subtlety of her coloratura, the ability to lighten the voice, the variations and the top notes are all ways of constructing a fragile character, initially charged with a timid happiness, and then switching to murderous madness. Pratt also has a beautiful roundness of timbre, a singing purity and a baffling top range: in addition to the classic high notes, the British soprano offered us, for example, a rare high F at the end of the mini duet with Raimondo! In the madness scene she used variations and traditional high notes, with some additional pyrotechnics in the second part. Apart for the purely vocal side, Pratt also knows how to build a character (with probably little or no rehearsals) and the scene gave her the wings that she had been deprived in the concert version given at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
Francisco Salazar
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review-Lucia di Lammermoor: Jessica Pratt Is A Revelation As Donizetti’s Tragic Heroine
In the famous cadenza, Pratt displayed vocal fireworks, singing with such refinement but never losing sight of the emotion. Each time the glass harmonica played a line, Pratt followed with exact precision. It all melded with such perfection and the sensation was otherworldly. And as she climaxed the scene, instead of finishing with a forte E Flat, Pratt kept the note mezzo forte. In her subsequent “Spargi d’amaro,’ the soprano’s Lucia became more agitated. While still keeping the frailness in her movements, Pratt’s vocal fiorturas became unhinged, singing numerous roulades and even going up to an E Flat. And the vocal fireworks would not end there as Pratt ended the mad scene with a final and powerful E Flat until the orchestra finished. And it surely caused an impact that left audiences wanting more. It was the perfect way to end what was already a showstopping evening. One hopes that Pratt returns for more Bel Canto because she showcases the best of both worlds – great acting, and impeccable coloratura.
Man in Chair
Simon Parris
Met Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor review
Pratt is at her sterling best in the riveting mad scene, performing the unfolding drama with seeming abandon while underpinning her work with perfect control. Pratt’s Lucia is totally lost in her own world, in which her scrambled logic makes utter sense to her. Accompanied by an actual glass harmonica (played with flair by Friedrich Heinrich Kern), Pratt’s ornamentals are completely secure and are an absolute pleasure to hear. In the final sequence, as the guests stand dumbstruck, so too was the house, in which you could have heard a proverbial pin drop.
A Grand Slam: Lucia, Luisa, and Three Tall Women
Yes, Jessica Pratt is the real thing: an accomplished high lyric-coloratura who knows this score inside and out and can manage most everything the role requires without trouble. [...] her upper register is another voice -- brilliant, loud, projects beautifully. In the sextet in that final note her voice was the one that carried over everyone else's. As might be expected her cadenzas were written so her voice could sit in the higher tessitura and she capped her big numbers with blazing money notes that the audience loved -- a high F at the end of her duets with Raimondo, two long-held E-flats after both "Il dolce suono" and "Spargi d'amoro pianto." I was sitting in a balcony box and could see the prompter applauding vigorously after "Il dolce suono."

Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht
Jessica is a British-born Australian. In some quarters, comparisons were being drawn with Joan Sutherland, who owned the role.
New York Observer
James Jorden
The Met’s ‘Cendrillon’ Will Make Anyone Love Fairy Tales…Yes, Even ‘Frozen’
Offering a welcome whiff of lightness, though, was soprano Jessica Pratt in the title role. Her singing was old-fashioned in the best sense of the term: technically assured, limpid and unerringly lovely.
Classics Today
Robert Levine
A Shining, Brilliant Star Joins the Cast of Lucia at the Met
The singing was flawless, with hints of June Anderson and–wait for it–Joan Sutherland, in her pinpoint accuracy, spectacular and huge D-flats, Ds, and E-flats (and even an F to close the tedious scene with the Family vicar, Raimondo), and absolute command of coloratura. Long phrases sung pianissimo and a high E-flat to cap the Mad Scene that went on seemingly forever were almost bonuses.
Andrew's Opera
Andrew Byrne
Best Lucia in years at the Met. Jessica Pratt has it all!
The mad scene was a tour de force and Ms Pratt added quite a few of her own flourishes, all now tasteful and in keeping with the bel canto piece. Her final cabaletta E flat was the longest and strongest E flat I have ever heard and it was simply extraordinary, especially when the rest of the aria was sung to perfection in a stylish manner worthy of any opera house.

The Composition

Lucia di Lammermoor

Libretto written in italian by Salvadore Cammarano, was first premiered on a Saturday on September 26 of 1835
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico (tragic opera) in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor. Donizetti wrote Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835, a time when several factors led to the height of his reputation as a composer of opera. Gioachino Rossini had recently retired and Vincenzo Bellini had died shortly before the premiere of Lucia leaving Donizetti as "the sole reigning genius of Italian opera". Not only were conditions ripe for Donizetti's success as a composer, but there was also a European interest in the history and culture of Scotland. The perceived romance of its violent wars and feuds, as well as its folklore and mythology, intrigued 19th century readers and audiences. Sir Walter Scott made use of these stereotypes in his novel The Bride of Lammermoor, which inspired several musical works including Lucia. The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton (Lucia) who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th century.
Time: Early 18th century Place: Scotland ACT 1 Scene 1: The gardens of Lammermoor Castle Normanno, captain of the castle guard, and other retainers are searching for an intruder. He tells Enrico that he believes that the man is Edgardo, and that he comes to the castle to meet Enrico's sister, Lucia. It is confirmed that Edgardo is indeed the intruder. Enrico reaffirms his hatred for the Ravenswood family and his determination to end the relationship. Scene 2: By a fountain at the entrance to the park, beside the castle Lucia waits for Edgardo. In her famous aria "Regnava nel silenzio", Lucia tells her maid Alisa that she has seen the ghost of a girl killed on the very same spot by a jealous Ravenswood ancestor. Alisa tells Lucia that the apparition is a warning and that she must give up her love for Edgardo. Edgardo enters; for political reasons, he must leave immediately for France. He hopes to make his peace with Enrico and marry Lucia. Lucia tells him this is impossible, and instead they take a sworn vow of marriage and exchange rings. Edgardo leaves. ACT 2 Scene 1: Lord Ashton's apartments in Lammermoor Castle Preparations have been made for the imminent wedding of Lucia to Arturo. Enrico worries about whether Lucia will really submit to the wedding. He shows his sister a forged letter seemingly proving that Edgardo has forgotten her and taken a new lover. Enrico leaves Lucia to further persuasion this time by Raimondo, Lucia's chaplain and tutor, that she should renounce her vow to Edgardo, for the good of the family, and marry Arturo. Scene 2: A hall in the castle Arturo arrives for the marriage. Lucia acts strangely, but Enrico explains that this is due to the death of her mother. Arturo signs the marriage contract, followed reluctantly by Lucia. At that point Edgardo suddenly appears in the hall. Raimondo prevents a fight, but he shows Lucia's signature on the marriage contract to Edgardo. He curses her, demanding that they return their rings to each other. He tramples his ring on the ground, before being forced out of the castle. ACT 3 Scene 1: The Wolf's Crag Enrico visits Edgardo to challenge him to a duel. He tells him that Lucia is already enjoying her bridal bed. Edgardo agrees to fight him. They will meet later by the graveyard of the Ravenswoods, near the Wolf's Crag. Scene 2: A Hall in Lammermoor Castle Raimondo interrupts the marriage celebrations to tell the guests that Lucia has gone mad and killed her bridegroom Arturo. Lucia enters. In the aria "Il dolce suono" she imagines being with Edgardo, soon to be happily married. Enrico enters and at first threatens Lucia but later softens when he realizes her condition. Lucia collapses. Raimondo blames Normanno for precipitating the whole tragedy. Scene 3: The graveyard of the Ravenswood family Edgardo is resolved to kill himself on Enrico's sword. He learns that Lucia is dying and then Raimondo comes to tell him that she has already died. Edgardo stabs himself with a dagger, hoping to be reunited with Lucia in heaven.

Gaetano Donizetti

Short biography of the composer
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Born in Bergamo in Lombardy, was taken, at an early age, under the wing of composer Simon Mayr who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship. Mayr was also instrumental in obtaining a place for the young man at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione. Over the course of his career, Donizetti wrote almost 70 operas. An offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to that city and his residency there which lasted until the production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844. In all, Naples presented 51 of Donizetti's operas. Before 1830, success came primarily with his comic operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. However, his first notable success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, which was presented in 1822 in Rome. In 1830, when Anna Bolena was premiered, Donizetti made a major impact on the Italian and international opera scene and this shifted the balance of success away from primarily comedic operas, although even after that date, his best-known works included comedies such as L'elisir d'amore (1832) and Don Pasquale (1843). Significant historical dramas did appear and became successful; they included Lucia di Lammermoor (the first to have a libretto written by Salvatore Cammarano) given in Naples in 1835, and one of the most successful Neapolitan operas, Roberto Devereux in 1837. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti. Donizetti found himself increasingly chafing against the censorial limitations which existed in Italy (and especially in Naples). From about 1836, he became interested in working in Paris, where he saw much greater freedom to choose subject matter, in addition to receiving larger fees and greater prestige. From 1838 onward, with an offer from the Paris Opéra for two new works, he spent a considerable period of the following ten years in that city, and set several operas to French texts as well as overseeing staging of his Italian works. The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, in April 1840, was revised to become Les martyrs. Two new operas were also given in Paris at that time. As the 1840s progressed, Donizetti moved regularly between Naples, Rome, Paris, and Vienna continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers. But from around 1843, severe illness began to take hold and to limit his activities. Eventually, by early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the mentally ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo, where he died in April 1848.


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