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Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Lucia di Lammermoor. It was last on stage 7 April—19 May 2016 as part of the Spring 2015/16 season.

The Story

The Lammermoor fortune is in danger unless Lucia makes a good marriage. Her brother Enrico is horrified to learn she has fallen in love with his sworn enemy Edgardo. Edgardo leaves to fight in France; before leaving he and Lucia privately exchange rings. Meanwhile, Enrico hastily arranges Lucia’s marriage to Arturo.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Lucia di Lammermoor is Donizetti's tragic masterpiece. The opera marked the beginning of his partnership with regular collaborator librettist Salvadore Cammarano – who, as was the fashion of the day, looked to Walter Scott. Cammarano’s adaptation of Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor moved Donizetti greatly, and in the subsequent score he produced not only some of his most beautiful but also his most dramatically potent music. Within a few years of its premiere in Naples on 26 September 1835 Lucia had entered the international repertory. Here it has remained, despite a practice in the 19th and 20th centuries to make cuts that obscured Donizetti’s deft handling of his ensemble cast, with a consequent impact on the opera’s brilliant dramatic pacing.

Lucia’s ‘Mad Scene’ is the opera’s most famous moment – but it is Donizetti’s recollection of previous motifs, such as Lucia’s Act I aria ‘Regnava nel silenzio’ and her duet with Edgardo ‘Verranno a te sull’aure’ that poignantly make manifest her distracted mind. Other highlights include the acclaimed sextet ‘Chi mi frena in tal momento’, where Edgardo interrupts the wedding party, the furious duet between Enrico and Edgardo at the start of Act III and the opera’s closing Tomb Scene, with its heartfelt and sombre depiction of Edgardo’s loss. Director Katie Mitchell (Written on Skin) sets The Royal Opera’s new production in the 1840s and focusses on how an intelligent woman, failed by the men in her life, experiences a horrifying mental breakdown.

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