Lucia di Lammermoor

by Gaetano Donizetti

Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

  • September 2017
    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

Le Salon Musical
Federica Fanizza
An exciting Lucia in concert form in Paris, featuring Jessica Pratt
Not available in English
Ha fatto rivivere la sua Lucia Ashton facendo emergere tutte le sfumature di un amore nostalgico e melanconico, travolto dalla passione e dalla pazzia, accentuando l’alternanza dei diversi stati d’ animo presenti nei vaneggiamenti della scena della ” pazzia”: non solo acuti fine a se stessi, ma una voce pura e cristallina che diveniva strumento dialogante con l’ orchestra e eco di essa. Questa alternanza di stati d’animo è stata espressa da una linea di canto che è stata in grado di esprimere tensione emotiva come nella sortita ” Regnava del silenzio” e nelle scene di assieme delle parti (Sestetto). È compito della voce rendere la drammaticità della vicenda, brava è stata la Pratt a lavorare su questa corda interpretativa, senza essere tentata di farsi prendete la mano da agilità e variazioni fine a se stesse. Gli entusiastici e calorosi applausi e le ovazioni del pubblico che ha fatto registrate il tutto esaurito, hanno accolto il cast alla ribalta e sancito la bravura di tutti gli artisti della compagnia di canto...
Res Musica
Patrice Imbaud
The bright and triumphant Lucia of Jessica Pratt
[…] the musical side has earned an undisputed success, relying on an homogenous distribution of vocal excellence dominated by Jessica Pratt. She paints a high carat Lucia evolving from the dreaming youth, through the desperate resistance, reaching the final madness, using an easy vocalisation, a bright timbre, a surprisingly flexible vocal line and a perfect mastery in vocal technique, she had already conquered the public at the “Regnava nel silenzio”. A triumph that climaxed with the mad scene “Il dolce suono… Ardon gli incensi” followed by “Spargi d’amaro pianto” always lead with perfection, acclaimed by public and musicians and crowned by a long ovation of several minutes. … To summarise, a beautiful homage to the memory of Maria Callas and the discovery in Paris of a superb soprano to be followed, Jessica Pratt.
Malory Matignon
Jessica Pratt pays homage to Maria Callas with Lucia di Lammermoor at TCE
In the title role, the anglo-australian soprano Jessica Pratt stole the heart of the public. Her knowledge of the score allows her to blow life into the character without the need of a staging, moving around and using all the space available to her (using for example the conductors railing). Dressed in a black gown and covered with a blu/turquoise satined shawl, Pratt shows herself at ease in the role of Lucia: her voice flexible and agile, her attacks always precise. She gives to this tormented character a wide palette of colours: at times dreamy, she suddenly turns bloodthirsty in the space of a bar. In the ensembles her voice pierces the others making herself always hearable. She produces intense crescendi and decrescendi, enriched with profound details. Her pianissimi always remain hearable, while her fortissimi don’t seem to require from her any effort. High notes of extreme refinement, released with an open and smiling mouth. The soprano becomes one thing with the role that she has so often portrayed, remaining hidden in the character without ever betraying it if not until the enchanted ovation of a conquered audience. … The mad scene is a sumptuous course that the public eagerly awaits just to find themselves hanging from the murmurs of love and the nightingale vocalisations of the soprano. The tension is palpable and a religious silence descends on the hall. Without ever escaping the madness that takes over Lucia, Jessica Pratt seems to be both crying and laughing at the same time. She variates the intonations, at times tempestuous, at times bright. This mix of emotions, that petrifies the public on the edge of their seat, paints to perfection the madness of the character.

Jean Luc
Lucia Di Lamermoor (Donizetti) at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées
Jessica Pratt impressive from beginning to the end was repeatedly applauded from the public. […] The immense quality of a true and proved belcanto technique is strongly tied to the Maria Callas school […] and as soon as the ghost of the Ravenswood victim is evoked, we where stolen into an shivering interpretation. Technical qualities that shine in gorgeous thrills on the breath, brilliant high notes, soft ones barely hearable and pianissimi of great beauty. […] In the final scene of the third act, she creates an almost unsettling atmosphere of mental illness, alternating darkness and innocence, crying and smiling. The madness is superb, with a complete involvement in such a modern interpretation…

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.
Jessica has already performed in this opera for:
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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