MARIA NOCKIN at Arizona Opera's
'Lucia di Lammermoor'
In 1669, the twenty-three year old Janet Dalrymple was in love with twenty year old Archibald, the third Lord Rutherford. Her parents disapproved of the match because they did not think the young man had enough money to support a wife in any reasonable style. Because Janet's mother had the couple's correspondence intercepted, eventually the disillusioned girl agreed to marry a far wealthier neighbor, David Dunbar, the heir to Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon.
The wedding was held at Carsecleugh Castle. Shortly after the couple had retired, screams were heard coming from their room. When the family broke down the door they found David gravely wounded and Janet sitting in a corner covered with blood. A month later, Janet, who was thought to be mad, died of an unspecified cause. Although David recovered from his wounds, he refused to speak of the episode and the secret eventually died with him. Baldoon Castle is now in ruins, but it is said that Janet's ghost can be encountered each year on the anniversary of her death, 12 September.
From left to right, Weston Hurt (Enrico), Laura Whalen (Lucia) and Mark T Panuccio (Edgardo) in Arizona Opera's production of Gaetano Donizetti's opera 'Lucia di Lammermoor'. Photo © 2007 Tim Fuller
This is the story that Sir Walter Scott used in his 1819 novel, The Bride of Lammermoor. Librettist, Salvatore Cammerano, fashioned his text for Gaetano Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor from the book. In 1835, when the opera was premièred at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the composer was already popular in Italy. Lucia made him world famous. In 1838, it was given at Her Majesty's Theatre in the Haymarket. In 1839, a revised French version was given in Paris and, in 1841, the opera was seen in New Orleans.
Copyright © 21 October 2007
Maria Nockin, Arizona USA