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<<  -- 2 --  Maria Nockin    OPULENTLY STAGED

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Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor was first staged at the Teatro San Carlo on 26 September 1835. Salvatore Cammarano, the librettist, was a man steeped in theatrical tradition. As the official poet of the Naples opera house, he wrote a piece that could not only get past the local censors but would please his audience as well. First he cut Scott's character list down to a manageable size. Then he embellished the soprano's mad scene and wrote a suicide aria for the tenor. The composer underscored the exoticism of the Scottish story with dark, brooding harmonies and the use of a traditional instrument of the region, the harp.

The cast of San Diego Opera's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' surrounded by San Diego Opera Chorus. Kneeling (left to right): soprano Kathleen Halm (Alisa) and soprano Angela Gilbert (Lucia). Standing (left to right): bass Reinhard Hagen (Raimondo), tenor Richard Leech (Edgardo), tenor Bryan Register (Arturo) and baritone Dalibor Jenis (Lord Enrico Ashton). Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
The cast of San Diego Opera's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' surrounded by San Diego Opera Chorus. Kneeling (left to right): soprano Kathleen Halm (Alisa) and soprano Angela Gilbert (Lucia). Standing (left to right): bass Reinhard Hagen (Raimondo), tenor Richard Leech (Edgardo), tenor Bryan Register (Arturo) and baritone Dalibor Jenis (Lord Enrico Ashton). Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

From its very beginning, the overture alerts us to the romantic nature of the piece. For the performance at San Diego Opera on 24 February 2006, scenic designer Henry Bardon fixed the time and location with war-ravished stone buildings which were given the proper ambience by Ron Vodicka's dramatic lighting. Bardon did not merely produce a unit set. Each scene had its own background so that stage director Andrew Sinclair could tell the story in a natural manner. Peter J Hall's costumes evoked the seventeenth century with the use of traditional designs and finely detailed execution. The props, too, were well thought out, particularly the varied weapons held by the men.

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Copyright © 26 March 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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