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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    A Met Masterpiece

    Star-crossed lovers, a cruel brother, a murder and a mad woman. Who could possibly resist Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” especially in its lavish, highly stylized Metropolitan Opera production?

    Donizetti’s opera was screened Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Staller Center, as a part of the Met Live in HD broadcast series. Based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel “The Bride of Lammermoor,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” is set in 19th century Scotland (despite the Italian-sounding names of the characters).

    Lucia is in love with Edgardo, and, despite being from rival families, the two lovers manage to secretly meet and swear eternal love to one another in Act I.

    Act II, which takes place several months later, introduces audiences to the avaricious Enrico, Lucia’s brother. He plans on marrying his sister off to a wealthy man, Arturo, because his estate is running out of money.

    Enrico tricks Lucia into thinking that Edgardo no longer loves her, by showing her a forged letter in which Edgardo professes his love for someone else. Lucia, already on the brink of madness by Enrico’s goading, signs the marriage contract, only to have Edgardo show up at the wedding. He makes Lucia more unhappy by berating her for her betrayal of their love.

    Act III climaxes with the superb madwoman scene with Lucia. After going completely mad and stabbing her husband to death, she sings one of the most beautiful and technically demanding arias in all opera, “Il Dolce Suono.”

    Anna Natrebko, in the role of Lucia, is luminescent. Her full, resonant soprano blends movingly with the mellow tenor tones of Piotr Beczala in the role of her lover Edgardo. Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien is also notable as Enrico, bringing flair and passion to the role of the evil brother who abuses Lucia and pushes her into insanity. Ildar Abdrazakov, as well, in the role of Raimondo, the chaplain and Lucia’s tutor, plays his role with feeling, as his powerful bass filled the auditorium.

    Together with the magnificent sets designed by Daniel Ostling and the intricate, highly detailed late Victorian style costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, this season’s Met production of “Lucia di Lammermoor” is unforgettable for its drama, music and visuals.

    Promoted as a “Victorian ghost story,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” not only evokes the misty moors of Scotland where the story is set, but also elicits pathos with its gray, silver, muted blue and green set pieces. There is nothing that distracts from the passionate plot or fantastic singers.

    The next Live in HD broadcast will be Madama Butterfly at 1pm on Saturday, Mar. 7. If “Lucia di Lammermoor” is any indication, then Puccini’s melodic masterpiece should be worth every penny.

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