19 April 2016 at 11.07am | 8 Comments
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Please note this production includes scenes featuring sex and violence, and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 15.
In order to preserve the ailing Lammermoor fortune, Enrico is determined that his sister Lucia marries advantageously and plots for her to marry Arturo. He is horrified to learn she has actually fallen in love with his sworn enemy, Edgardo.
Before Edgardo leaves to fight in France, he meets Lucia to exchange vows. Once he has departed, Enrico tricks Lucia into believing he has been unfaithful and forces her to sign a contract promising herself to Arturo.
Edgardo returns to find Lucia wed to Arturo and, devastated by her infidelity, vows eternal hatred. Lucia is driven to heart-breaking despair – with tragic consequences for all involved.
Katie Mitchell’s production is a feminist take on Donizetti’s opera. The English director sets the new production between 1830-40 to coincide with the emergence of early feminists including the Brontë sisters and Mary Anning.
Mitchell’s production sees the stage split in two with complementary scenes added to focus on the female characters of Lucia and her maid Alisa.
'We became very excited by the idea that there are some big scenes missing for Lucia', says Mitchell of her staging. 'I wanted to find a way of explaining why Lucia does a lot of the things that she does and particularly why she goes so-called "insane"'.
Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is perhaps best-known for Lucia’s Act III Mad Scene, but the Act II sextet ‘Chi mi frena in tal momento’ is almost as well-known. It was rapturously applauded at the opera’s premiere, went on to influence such composers as Verdi. It was also one of the first ever opera ensembles to be recorded.
The score was also a key point in opera history through its role in the rise and fall of the prima donna in that it rests on their talents but also marked the beginning of the end of their dominance of the stage.
The live relay of Lucia di Lammermoor stars German soprano Diana Damrau in the title role, with American tenor Charles Castronovo singing the role of Edgardo and French baritone Ludovic Tézier as Enrico. Daniel Oren conducts.
After the relay on 25 April, we will publish a roundup of the audience tweets, so share your thoughts using the hashtag #ROHlucia. A selection will be displayed on screen in the interval.
Lucia di Lammermoor will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 25 April 2016. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Hélène and Jean Peters, Mrs Philip Kan, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Cover Awards. It is a co-production with Greek National Opera.