La donna del lago to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 15 June
Essential guides, backstage information and production photos from Rossini's adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s poem.
13 June 2013 at 4.32pm | Comment on this article
Based on Sir Walter’s Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake, Rossini’s La donna del lago is a passionate love story set in the turbulence of the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century.
The opera, which had its premiere in 1819, is considered to be one of Rossini’s most lyrical works. John Fulljames’s production, which starred star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and renowned tenor Juan Diego Florez, was said by critics to ‘contain some of the most spectacular singing to be heard at Covent Garden’.
Update: Listen now via BBC iPlayer:
A story of nationhood
The story follows Highland beauty Elena, who, amid the turmoil of Scottish independence, is caught between her love for warrior Malcolm and her duty to marry Highland chief Rodrigo.
John Fulljames’s production, set in both 16th and 19th-century Scotland, explores themes of national identity and myth-making. Read more about John Fulljames’s interpretation of Sir Walter Scott.
The staging of La donna del lago coincided with a season of programmes about Sir Walter Scott on BBC Radio 4, including a documentary entitled ‘The Man who made Scotland’ presented by James Naughtie, currently available on BBC iPlayer.
Watch John Fulljames and members of the cast introduce the characters of the opera:
Review the show
The production is sponsored by the Peter Moores Foundation and the Friends of Covent Garden with generous philanthropic support from Celia Blakey, Hélène and Jean Peters, Judith Portrait and Susan and John Singer. The Production Director is generously supported by Hamish and Sophie Forsyth.